Unit Formation Instructions in War Diaries?

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by MongoUK, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Afternoon all,

    I'm trying to find some documentation, but I'm not really sure where I need to look in the archives...

    At the end of 1939, the Hopkinson Mission with No3 British Air Mission was expanded.
    This included raising a new complement of troops from the depot at Aldershot.

    The Hopkinson Mission WD states that 2 officers left for temporary duty at the War Office in connection with re-organisation of the army echelon of the mission.

    There isn't any further documentation within the files that I've looked in.

    I just wondered if anyone else might know if there is a 'usual' set location that this sort of documentation might be, outside of the units diaries?

  2. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

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  3. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Thanks 51, have searched through all of the obvious connotations and have pictured loads of files.

    It's whether anyone has found these sort of documents in any more obscure places.

  4. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    Not entirely sure what it is you are looking for.

    I mean, and this is assuming you want to know what these two chaps were doing at the WO, do you know which office and department they were attached to?

    Each office at the WO created its own paperwork and files some of which has been preserved, much of which has not.

    If they were attached to an office in the Directorate of Staff Duties, try WO 260 series at Kew.

    If attached to Directorate Ops & Intelligence, try the WO 106 or WO 193 series.

    And so on.
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  5. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Thanks Mark.

    No mention of which WO office, but I've only really looked at unit specific diaries previously.

    I didn't know whether there would be a particular branch etc that was in charge of the allocation or creation of units etc.

  6. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    Ok. If I understand this correctly, you are after the paperwork that authorized the formation and organization of a particular formation, unit or sub-unit.

    You confused me by mentionning two chaps being attached to the WO.

    If so, then in 1939, that authority lay with the Army Council. But the paperwork sent out to disseminate their decisions and get things moving was done by S.D.1 and/or S.D.2 (Staff Department) of the D.S.D. (Directorate Staff Duties) at the WO.

    I have seen such documents - but only copies which have been filed alongside other paperwork rather than from a specfic S.D.1 or 2 file.

    I think S.D.1 was responsible for organization, S.D.2 for personnel.

    Edited to add.
    On reflection, I'm not sure I have the separation of responsibilities between S.D.1 and 2 correct. The document I posted below comes from S.D.1.b. in December 1939. That sort of document issued 2 years earlier came from S.D.2. :(
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
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  7. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    Something like this:

  8. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Superb, that's the sort of thing.

    I will have a look and see what I can find.


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