The commanders' diaries in this record series were prepared by officers commanding Army headquarters, units and detachments serving in Malaya/Singapore, Sarawak-Brunei-Sabah and South Vietnam, as a record of operational activity during their service abroad. These diaries were arranged by unit and covered the period of one month at a time.
The content of the commander's diaries include a narrative and appendices. The narrative can include such items as changes in command, establishment, equipment and organisation; information received, decisions made and orders given; a short summary of the day's fighting, including company movements; opinions and recommendations of the commander with regard to equipment, tactics, organisation and morale; progress of defensive work, weapons state, weather and ground conditions; major causes and number of casualties to officers, men and equipment; a note of all prisoners and enemy equipment captured, and a statement showing how the unit was employed in the time not accounted for. The appendices can include duty officer's log, operation orders and instructions issued and received, situation reports, orders of battle and location reports, intelligence reports, administrative orders issued and received, administrative reports, standing orders, commander's policy, action reports, maps and summaries of operations.
The content of individual war diaries depends on the unit concerned and their functions and daily activities. Overall, however, the main factor controlling the contents and quality of contents of a particular diary remains the skill, dedication, and enthusiasm of the officer who was in charge of compiling it.
More information can be found in the introduction to the series.