My brother told me that I could access "diaries" in the archives that will relate to the service of my mother during WW2 in the AWAS. Is this correct and how to I go about it?
I’m not a specialist on this subject, but this might help until one comes along:
There may be other series but the NAA series “AWM52” contains “2nd AIF (Australian Imperial Force) and CMF (Citizen Military Forces) unit war diaries, 1939-45 War” (> 20000 items). It is worth reading the notes for this series as it mentions e.g. “It was decided early in the war that the Australian War Memorial in Canberra would be the final resting place for the war diaries and, subsequently, for the additional historical material collected by the Military History Section”
Some examples of the items in this series are:
7 AWAS [Australian Women's Army Service] Administration Cadre (whole diary - 1 item) WA L of C area (Feb 1943, Oct 1943 - Jan 1944) (Barcode#923480)
5 AWAS [Australian Women's Army Service] Training Depot (LE) SA L of C area (whole diary - 1 item) Nov 1942-May 1943 (Barcode#923481)
4 MD AWAS [Australian Women's Army Service] Sth Australia L of C Area AWAS [Whole diary - 3 items] (Dec 1941 - Oct 1943) (Barcode#1121969)
Tas L of C Area AWAS [Australian Women's Army Service] [Whole diary - 3 items] (Aug 1943 - Oct 1944; Apr - Aug 1946) (Barcode#1121991)
WA L of C Area AWAS [Australian Women's Army Service] [Whole diary - 15 items] (May 1943 - Dec 1945; Feb - Jul 1946) (Barcode#1122047)
However, none of these seem to be digitized on the NAA site. As mentioned previously, the Australian War Memorial is the current guardian of these items. Some diaries are online on the AWM site, but not all of them.
For more information: https://www.awm.gov.au/learn/understanding-military-history/unit-di...
PS The NAA would be the source for an actual service file.