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The New Zealand Dental Services

Recording and Reporting

Recording and Reporting

The life of the Corps depended to a large extent on accurate information being individually recorded and collectively analysed. Most of the recording was standardised by the use of printed forms. Reports were daily, weekly, monthly and sometimes annually, each with its definite destination through rigid channels of communication.

Anything not covered in this way was embodied in a written report by the dental officer commanding the section. This report was not compulsory and was often omitted. It may not have appeared, either to the dental officers or to the DDS, to have been of vital importance at the time, but the value to the historian cannot be too strongly stressed. It represented the thoughts and problems of the officers most intimately connected with the details of the NZDC organisation which can never be recaptured by studying impersonal official reports. In this respect the war diaries of commanding officers overseas varied from the bare record of daily routine duties to vital human documents providing richly coloured miniatures to enrich the finished canvas. It should be borne in mind that apparently unimportant details when connected together often produce an answer of the utmost importance. The progress of the Corps in the future might well depend on the faithful recording of every detail, however unimportant it might seem at the time.

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