Korean War Diaries Description
While on active service, Army headquarters, formations and units are required to keep a unit war diary recording their daily activities. Archival series AWM85 comprises the war diaries of 28 British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR), and some miscellaneous support units, created during their involvement in the Korean War.
The diary of 3RAR, the Australian unit with the heaviest and most prolonged commitment in Korea, dates from November 1948 at which time it was still a component of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF).
The war diaries for 1, 2 and 3RAR are in two distinct parts - the diary itself and related appendices to the diary. The diary of 28 British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade comprise the diary part only. The diary is in monthly segments and contains day-to-day descriptions of units activities and operations. For periods when the unit was engaged in combat operations its diary is generally detailed and voluminous, when in reserve considerable less so.
The appendices usually include routine orders, field returns, administrative and training instructions, operations orders and instructions, intelligence reports, patrol orders and programmes, monthly reports (medical officer's, quartermaster's, etc), messages and signals, and maps, sketches and traces.
Notable documents include:
- A Short History of the First Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment, 1945-55 (1RAR, December 1955) (16pp);
- A history of 2RAR in Korea (2RAR, September 1953) (1p);
- Intelligence Brief issued by General Staff (Intelligence), Headquarters, 1 Commonwealth Division (2RAR, June 1953) (pp44); and
- A complete nominal roll of 3RAR at the time of the ceasefire (3RAR, June 1953) (pp20).
This series of war diaries has been digitised in its entirety.
National Archives of Australia's collection database, RecordSearch, has a detailed description in the series notes.