Canadian Army War Diary - “Slate of Officers” Query

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Buck-Compton, May 22, 2022.

  1. Buck-Compton

    Buck-Compton Junior Member

    Hello All,

    Here is my next question. I've come across some war diaries which have appendices called Slate of Officers. Sometimes I see a couple of them in the diaries. Sometimes there is mentioning of the existence and sometimes I don't see them at all.

    I've had a look around in the forums and Google but wasn't able to find any resources about it. Does anyone around here have experience with these files?


  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I’m not aware of a “Slate of Officers” appendix in any of the WW2 British War Diaries I’ve looked through.

    Have you an example of one of the queried documents?

  3. Buck-Compton

    Buck-Compton Junior Member

    Tullybrone I have added a couple of screenshots

    Essex Scottish regiment War Diary September 1944

    Royal Hamiltond Light Infantry War Diary Sept 1944

    Royal Regiment of Canada War Diary September 1944

    Cheers Remi
    4jonboy likes this.
  4. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    The term is also used in civilian organisations such as election of Company Directors.

    Attached Files:

  5. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    That explains it……a Canadian War Diary term.

    British War Diary appendices often have an official form (number escapes me) entitled Return Of Officers - similar but not identical to your “Slate of Officers”. It lists all officers but doesn't drill down to the level of recording the numbered Platoon where an Officer is serving.

    Battalion lists that drill down to that level of detail are called Order of Battle in British terminology.

  6. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Steve, You are probably correct re Canadian, as the "Slate of Officers" references seem to be trans Atlantic in origin. However most things online are.
    Checked form numbers.
    British Army War Diary: Field Return of Officers Army Form 3008
    Field Return of Other Ranks Army Form W8009 (RA) the one I checked was Royal Artillery.
  7. Buck-Compton

    Buck-Compton Junior Member

    Tullybrone I'm working my way through war diaries of all Canadian units which participated in the battle of the scheldt. I usually find the weekly field return officers or other ranks in the diaries. But now in some infantry battalion diaries I found both those field returns as well as the slate of officers. Usually the field returns are set on a specific date at the end of a week. These slate of officers seem to be more randomly.

    I'm trying to find out if these slates are somewhere available as the give a very good in sight as to which officer held which position in a unit. I found the weekly field returns usually appoint the key officers but not officers like platoon commanders and 2ic's below the level of the brigade.

    So my question here is are those slate of officers standard forms and are they connected to a certain level or are these files just a lucky shot in my quest?
  8. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Sorry but I can’t answer your question I’m afraid.

    You may attract more interest from members with an interest in Canadian Army if you amend your topic tile to read “Canadian Army War Diary - “Slate of Officers” Query”. I appreciate it’s “tagged” to that effect

    Good Luck

  9. Buck-Compton

    Buck-Compton Junior Member

    Tullybrone thank you for your suggestion I adapted the title.


  10. klambie

    klambie Senior Member

    Reasonable amount of experience with a variety of Canadian WDs and I'd say such lists are relatively rare and depended what the individual diarist thought was important to document. Possibly a more common practice pre-war? My hunch is they tend to be seen more often early in the war and dwindle from there. Field Returns are a required weekly report on manpower.
    dryan67 likes this.
  11. Buck-Compton

    Buck-Compton Junior Member

    klambie thank you for replying. Yes it seems to be without obligation. but judging from the 3rd screenshot it seemed to suggest it is a standard form.

    What I'm actually trying to achieve is to get and understanding who the company and platoom commanders where and if possible their 2ic's now most field returns give a good view of the batalion commander, 2nd in command, adjutant, quarter master and intelligence officer but not the rest. Is there a way to figure out who those lower level commanders where based on weekly field returns.


  12. klambie

    klambie Senior Member

    In my experience, generally not from FROs except by looking at ranks and supplementing with Part I Orders, WD narrative, personal accounts etc. to identify some appointments. As with the slate of officers, some FROs occasionally include details (more common for artillery/armour than infantry I find), but reliant on the person filling out the form to add extra info. The order of names on FROs might hint at appointments (ie. the clerk is mentally going down the list from 1 Pl to 18 Pl), but requires that you have a good list at some point in time to see if that is the case. Even if you find that is so, always the question of when a new clerk changes methods and goes to the more common listing purely by rank.

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