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66   DAYS OF PREPARATION

thousand index cards have been written and filed in alphabetical order giving names and next-of-kin of every officer and man in the C.E.F. Daily lists are received by post furnishing information regarding men in hospital. A Statistical Section tabulates information relating to the number of men enlisted in different provinces, towns, etc., also as to the number belonging to different nationalities, towns, etc. Discharge documents are recorded and filed alphabetically. All enquiries received from the soldiers' next-of-kin are regarded as second only in importance to the reporting of initial casualties, and these ordinarily average about 300 daily, many of which are dealt with by cable. This latter number is considerably increased at a time when any great action is in progress.

Apart from the current recording of individual information and the specific duty of reporting casualties to next-of-kin, the Record Office has maintained detailed statistics covering the C.E.F. as regards religion, age, nationality, former military service, trade or occupation, and place of enlistment, and further tabulates information covering all honours and awards granted to members of the Force, together with details of the reason therefor.

The responsibility for carrying out the provisions of Orders-in-Council relating to missing men is also one of the functions of the Record Office, and after thorough investigation fails to reveal any foundations for hope that the soldier may still be alive, the necessary steps are taken officially to presume death for all official purposes. Ordinary legal certificates of death are issued for all ranks of the C.E.F. who are finally non-effectives, but are later followed by a parchment certificate of death which is signed by a member of the Militia Council and primarily designed for retention by the near relative of the deceased soldier.

The correspondence involved in dealing with the daily work of the Record Office amounts to approximately 2,500 telegrams, letters, and files daily, which are dis-


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