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Routine Orders & Unit Records


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#1 Wendy Mac...

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:16 AM

Hello everyone

Last week I was the New Zealand Archives making a copy of the diary of the 3rd Battalion of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment NZEF. The chap at the counter mentioned to me that the routine orders and unit records for the battalion were also available. Looking at the archives website tonight I see that the routine orders and unit records are held in a different series to the Diaries. I'd like to order them up but before I do I'd like to know what a routine order and unit record actually is.


The 3rd battalion C.I.R diary that I'm reading contains:
Secret orders.
Intelligence summary.
Syllabus of training.
Time tables.
Special orders.
Secret ROE.


...but no routine orders or unit records.

Any information on these would be appreciated.


Wendy

#2 River97

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:30 AM

Wendy,

Routine Orders are a written set of orders for the daily running of a unit. Known as R.O.'s they could contain anything to do with daily military life. Things such as when to get a hair cut, who the battalion discipline officers were, what powers of punishment various ranks had in the unit. They could also contain such things as the CO's policy on alcohol, leave, ect, ect.

'Other Records' - well, they could be anything, such as roll books.

If I was you, I would be there with bells on.

Cheers Andy.

#3 Wendy Mac...

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:49 AM

Hi Andy
That's great news thanks, It's all those little nitty gritty details that I'm looking for. I'll definitely be there with bells on next week :)
Last week when I knew that I was going to view and copy the battalion diary the night before I lay awake all night with excitement. I tell you things have become pretty sad if a battalion diary can keep you awake all night.

Thanks for your speedy reply, now I can go to bed and have another sleepless night!!


Wendy

#4 nigelfe

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:05 AM

Routine Orders were used in peace and war, they could include any non-operational matter. They were usually published daily, ideally before noon. They included such things as ordering named soldiers to particular administrative duties, unit parade details, or attendance by individuala at a disciplinary hearing before the CO. They also recorded details of changes in command, eg if the CO went on leave then ROs stated who was acting in his position during his absence (this was important due to the legal implications under the Army Act and Kings Regulations).

Standing Orders modified regulations for local circumstances, and made 'permanent' matters that would otherwise have to be regularly repeated in Routine Orders.

These types of Order (and Operations Orders) were all uniquely numbered in the unit series. They had to be clearly signed and include the signatory's rank and appointment.

On operations units and HQs were required to keep a War Diary and any other documents that might prove useful when the history of the campaign was written. These were sent up the food chain when no longer needed in the unit, etc.

Reports shouldn't be confused with States and Returns. Reports could cover anything operational or not. States were submitted by a commander to his superior and dealt with the fighting condition of his unit, ie 'Strength State', 'Ammunition State'. A Return provided statistical information, ie more detail than in a State. Eg an 'Ammunition Return' might give quantities for each type of ammo, and quantities expended each day since the last Return whereas the State muight just give current holdings.

#5 Wendy Mac...

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:15 AM

Thanks for your detailed reply Nigel.

I'm looking forward to reading the files now as they look like they will be filled with all sorts of useful information.

Many thanks
Wendy