Topic: AIF - HQ - 3rd Echelon
WSMD = Wounded, Sick, Missing, and Dead.
The nature of the war meant that the government and AIF was very sensitive to give information to relatives regarding the status of the man if he fell into any one of these four categories. The below sheet is an extract from the formal procedures carried out by 3rd Echelon to ensure that the required information reached the relatives with a useful and full description in a timely manner. Sheets like this remind the reader that behind all the notes found in the service files, there were established procedures to produce the documents. This document illustrates the underlying structures that supported the massive and varied reporting that occurred. For the relatives, this was at times dreaded reporting, but it was merciful. In comparison to some of the less well supervised forces, the relief of knowing the fate of a loved one was not a matter of doubt in most cases.
Citation: WSMD Messages 3rd Echelon Procedures