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AWM4, Sub-class 4/4 - Claims Officer, 4th Australian Division
First World War Diaries - AWM4, Class 4 Claims. Archival series AWM4 comprises the diaries of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) created during the First World War. The war diaries generally consist of war diary or intelligence summary sheets located at the beginning of each diary which record the date of each entry, the unit's location, a summary of events and any remarks or references to appendices. The appendices, which make up the larger part of each diary, may include orders, despatches, instructions, reports, telegrams, and decisions taken; daily situation reports; staff duties; accounts of operations; changes in establishment or strength; and a summary of information received. The overall quality of the diaries can be variable and usually reflects the attitude of the unit's commanding office, and the skill and conscientiousness of the individual charged with compiling it. Numbering System: This series has a three part numbering system: the first number represents the broadest category, such as arm, service or corps a unit belonged to; the second number represents the particular unit; and the third number is a chronological identifier that represents the month and year for each diary.
The war diaries generally consist of war diary or intelligence summary sheets located at the beginning of each diary. The sheets record the date of each entry, the unit's location, a summary of events, and any remarks or references to appendices. The appendices, which make up the larger part of each diary, may include: strength and casualty returns; routine orders and administrative instructions; operation orders and instructions; reports; messages; location statements; intelligence summaries; photographs, sketches, maps, and traces. The war diaries vary greatly in the amount and level of detailed information they contain. Their quality generally reflects the skill, dedication, and enthusiasm of the officers in charge of compiling them. They are a historical record of a unit's administration, operations, and activities, and rarely record information about individual personnel.
While on active service army headquarters, formations, and units are required to keep war diaries recording their daily activities. The purpose of the diaries is twofold: to provide data on which future improvements in training, equipment, organisation, and administration can be based; and to provide future historians with a record of activities of units and formations in operational periods.
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4th Australian Division; Claims Officer