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.