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NEW  ZEALAND  "SOLDIER'S  SERVICE  BOOK": WORLD  WAR  II


In New Zealand, at the time of World War II (1939 - 1945), soldiers were issued with a "Soldier's Service Book" which set out in detail the obligations of all soldiers. This book was kept inside a brown cardboard folder labelled on the outside as "Soldier's Pay Book, For Use on Active Service".

On the front page of the book it stated the following:

ALL RANKS.

"REMEMBER - Never discuss military, naval, or air matters in public or with any stranger, no matter to what nationality he or she may belong.

"The enemy wants information about you, your unit, your destination. He will do his utmost to discover it.

"Keep him in the dark. Gossip on military subjects is highly dnagerous to the country, whereas secrecy leads to success.

"BE ON YOUR GUARD  and report any suspicious individual."

Page 1 of the book was set out as follows (ref A.B. 64/327, Part I):

                            
Soldier's Service Book..

                                 Instructions to Soldier.

1.    You will be held personally responsible for the safe custody of this book.

2.    You will always carry the book on your person.

3.    You must produce the book whenever called upon to do so by a competent authority, civil or military.

4.    You must not alter or make an entry in the book, and disobedience of this order will be treated as a serious offence.

5.    Should you consider that any entry in the book is lacking or incorrect, or should you lose the book, you will report the matter to your immediate military superior.

6.    You will be permitted to retain the book after discharge as a record of your service in the Army, but should you lose the book after discharge it cannot be replaced.

7.    No entry is to be made which gives any indication of your unit.

Page 2 of the book was headed "Rules for the Soldier's Guidance" and the following rules were stated:

1.    Conduct yourself on all occasions as a soldier and a gentleman.

2.    Be courteous and polite to all strangers, and remember that by your actions not only will you be judged but you will reflect credit or discredit on your regiment and your native country.

3.    Obey all orders cheerfully and avoid bad language and "grousing," both of which create a bad influence amongst your comrades. If you have a genuine complaint to make, submit it to your immediate commander. Disobedience of orders is a very serious offence.

4.    Be most particular in regard to the cleanliness of your person, clothing, and equipment.

5.    Be smart in your bearing and always correctly dressed when on leave.

6.    Be conscientious in the performance of your duty. Carelessness in this respect when in the field may lead to loss of lives of your comrades.

7.    Carefully observe the regulations regarding saluting of officers.

8.     Keep yourself fit, avoid excesses of stimulants, and above all remember the very serious dangers of illicit sexual intercourse, against which you are specially warned in the interests of your future health and happiness.

         No entry is to be made which gives any indication as to unit.

Page 3 of the book included the personal details of the soldier including next-of-kin. The page included space for the signature of the soldier and the signature of an officer, including the place and the date.

Page 4 of the book showed the code letters of  "unit and corps" to which the soldier actually belonged (to be entered on arrival in the field). It also showed the "rank and appointment" of the soldier.

Page 5 of the book showed the code letters of "unit and corps" to which attached if the soldier was serving in a Corps other than his own (to be entered on arrival in the field). This page also showed the medals, decorations, mentions in despatches, wound stripes, and service chevrons to which entitled.

Page 6 of the book showed the soldier's medical classification, prescription for spectacles and protective inoculations.

Page 7 of the book showed particulars of new artificial dentures supplied. It also included a "certificate applicable to all Arms" to be completed and signed before a soldier proceeded overseas showing training received and further training needed.

Page 8 of the book showed details of "trade tests and courses of instruction" and also "leave granted with free rail warrant". At the foot of the page there were details of when and where the soldier was discharged together with the signature of an officer.

Page 9 was blank and Pages 10 and 11 provided full details of "dental operations performed in the field" including the particular teeth involved.

Page 12 was blank.

The following are scans of the cover and the first two pages of the book: