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ID number AWM78 (AWM78)
Title Reports of Proceedings, HMA Ships and Establishments
Collection Official Record
Object type Official Record
Copying provision Copy provided for personal non-commercial use, permission from copyright holder must be sought for commercial use


Reports of Proceedings (ROPs) are the official record of activities of the Royal Australian Navy's commands, vessels, shore establishments, administrative authorities and installations.

Instructions on reporting were ordinarily laid out in detail in The King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions, however reports of proceedings do not appear to have been named as such until after the Second World War. For example, The Queen's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions of 1953 mention 'reporting proceedings' under item 2708 (for Commanders-in-Chief and Senior Officers), and item 2904 (for Captains).


Reports of Proceedings were normally submitted by a commanding officer to his superior, and then on to Navy Office. Although the 1953 instructions do not specify the frequency of the reports ('The Captain is to report his proceedings from time to time...'), it was common practice to submit them either monthly, in the case of ships, or quarterly, in the case of shore establishments. Reporting was required in both wartime and peacetime. In some cases, especially in the early years of the Second World War, reports were in the form of 'war diaries', or in earlier decades they were sometimes referred to as 'Letters of Proceedings'.
Between 1979-1981 many of the ROPs were temporarily transferred from Navy custody to the Australian Archives, where they were registered as Series A4621. In 1981 they were returned from Australian Archives to the Department of Defence. Later that year the series began to be transferred to the Australian War Memorial, and this continued between late 1981 and 1984. A few extra items were also transferred in the early 1990s.
The series comprises almost 1,600 individual files, each being a Report of Proceedings. About one third of the series covers the years of the Second World War (1939-1945), with the remaining two-thirds covering subsequent decades.
There are Reports of Proceedings from five general navy groups:
-Vessels and groups of vessels (e.g. squadrons, flotillas)
-Administrative authorities (e.g. Naval Officer in Charge, Flag Officer Commanding)
-Shore establishments
The types of information found in ROPs typically include:
-Events of `historical significance'
-Dates of arrival at, and departure from places visited
-Details of ships in company
-Visits and official calls
-Outstanding incidents
-Details of operations
-The state of the ship and its company
Some ROPs may also include photographs.
System of arrangement and control;
The ROPs of individual ships, establishments, etc, are generally arranged alphabetically and in chronological order, covering periods of one or more years. A two number control system has been imposed on each item.
Some ROPs comprise several items. For most ships operating in the Second World War and the immediate post war years there are, additionally, items containing duplicate copies of ROPs. These duplicates are often incomplete.