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Army Book 152 Correspondence Book (field service)


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How common was it for soldiers to use "Army Book 152 Correspondence Book (field service). What was its primarily use?

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A middle sized unit would have three or four for general use. In its list of mobilization stores for a Divisional Ammunition Park, in November 1914, three were to be kept in the 'Box, Stationery, Field' for deployment.

It was printed using quarter-inch graph paper, with a few sheets of carbon paper for copies and every page was perforated. So ideally for making a sketch to scale and making a detachable copy.

But it was used for just about any purpose that was required! Most probably because it was handy size with plenty of pages, a bit more substantial than a Field Message Book ( normally with a card cover, side stapled but I have seen examples bound in bookcloth).

It was possibly the most generally used "book for anything". General Monash used them as his diaries. Divisional Intelligence Officers used them for taking notes and sketches, General Hospitals used them for recording Next of kin details, Casualty Clearing Stations used them for address books, Divisional Burial Officers used them for recording map references of burials, 1st ANZAC Corps used one for burial returns and I seem to remember a race committee using one for planning details. Some units used it as a war diary or narratives of operations.

Field Ambulance units used them to record evacuation details; 'when the convoy came...one officer in charge with two assistants , each with Army Book 152, then made duplicate lists of the cases as they were put in the ambulances--a separate page for each ambulance. The duplicate was torn out and handed to the driver with instructions to give it to the officer at the Casualty Clearing Station on arrival. There was thus a triple check, the tally on the patient himself, the original in our possession, and the duplicate given to the driver.'

As to use by soldiers, it would have been used most commonly in the headquarters of a unit and above. the majority of men (for example, a private in a battalion) probably would not have been even aware of it, let alone been able to acquire one. That said, I am sure that some individual soldiers did use them. It was also used by AEF units.



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Thank you for the information. Now it makes sense why my grandfather selected this book to write his journal entries.

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