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National Archives of Australia The Archives holds records about service in the Australian defence forces from Federation in 1901. Click on the War Service Records link under The Collection  to find out how to access records relating to the Australian Army (Army), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and other records relating to wartime service. Digitised copies of first Australian Imperial Force (AIF) personnel dossiers (WW1) are online (free) and many of the WWII service records have been digitised and are online. If a record is not online copies (hard or digital) can be requested for a fee ($25). There are also online Fact Sheets that explain what service records are held and how to use them.

Australian War Memorial This extensive site is a must for family history research. The wealth of online material includes biographical databases (detailed by conflict below); collection databases (art, photos, film, sound, heraldry, military technology, private and official records, books, journals, maps, sheet music, war diaries); digitised records plus research information. No personal service records are held.

Australian War Memorial - The Roll of Honour This roll replicates the names of Australia's war dead on the bronze panels at the War Memorial, Canberra. The database links to the panel location, any photographs and to digital images of the Roll of Honour Circulars (WWI, WWII, Korea). The circulars were forms sent to next of kin seeking personal details of the deceased.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission This site commemorates the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars. The casualty database lists the names and place of commemoration of these men and women. It also records details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died "as a result of enemy action" in the Second World War. Updated

Australian War Memorial - Commemorative Roll  This roll records the names of those Australians who died during or as a result of wars in which Australians served, but who were not serving in the Australian Armed Forces and therefore not eligible for inclusion on the Roll of Honour. It includes those Australians who died while members of Allied Forces, the Merchant Navy, philanthropic organisations attached to the forces, or as war correspondents or photographers.

Australian War Memorial - Remembrance Book This book commemorates members of the Australian Defence Force who died on operations after 30 June 1947 designated as non-warlike service. Includes hazardous service, peacekeeping service and humanitarian peacetime service.

Australian War Memorial - Honours and Awards There are details of the Honours and Awards made or recommended to Australians while on active service. It does not contain information on campaign or service medals.

Australian War Memorial - Profiles of Australian Military Units This site offers profiles of many of the navy, army and air force units that served Australia in times of conflict. Each profile includes a short history of the unit, details of its casualties, decorations, battle honours and commanding officers.

Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) Commemorative Publications These are available either to download or to browse as webpages. Titles include:
 •  North Beach Gallipoli 1915 – A booklet designed to help visitors to the Anzac site at North Beach Gallipoli to understand more fully the significance of the area  
•  Sinking of the Centaur - On 14 May 1943, the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur was sunk by a Japanese submarine. Of the 332 persons on board, only 64 survived 
•  Operation Jaywick – 60th Anniversary - Operation Jaywick was one of the most daring and celebrated special operations undertaken in World War II. In September 1943, eleven Australian and three British army and navy personnel raided Japanese shipping in Singapore harbour, sinking seven ships, and against great odds made it back to Australia 
•  Laden, Fevered, Starved - The POW's of Sandakan, North Borneo, 1945
•  Caring for your Wartime Memorabilia - A guide to preserving and protecting your family's war time items
•  Memories & Memorabilia - Recognising and preserving Australia's war heritage
•  Australian Flying Corps - This book marks the 100th anniversary of the AFC
•  Greece and Crete: Australians in World War II. 

Royal Australian Navy - Navy Publications. This site has several online publications of interest to family history researchers. These include:
• Commemorative Publications. Collection of publications commemorating the 50th, 75th and 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy.
• The Navy List (1905-1979). This publication contains details of the officers of the Australian Navy. Additional editions of Navy Lists will be added as the 30 year disclosure period expires.
• World War II Naval Staff Histories. A collection of publications written by the Historical Section of the Admiralty during and after World War II.
• World War II merchant ship movement records for Australia. Scans of the original documents are available as PDF files. They are arranged alphabetically by ship name. Updated

Books On War Australia This bookshop specialises in battalion histories, battle research, battlefield visit guides and veteran war diary history books.

War Memorials in Australia  A site by Michael Southwell-Keely which lists the locations, descriptions and images of war memorials in Australia and includes monuments, honour rolls, buildings and a variety of utilitarian facilities. Searches are available by family name, keyword or memorial location. Photographs are included if available.

South Australians at War This site is a portal to some of the remarkable stories of the sacrifices and contributions South Australians have made to international conflicts.

Australian Light Horse Association Information on existing military units, re-enactment troops, museums plus information on regiments and battles. Includes personal histories and military stories.

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre This site aims to present an accurate history of early Australian military developments from 1899 to 1920.

Digger History  An unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Services by Ted Harris. This site contains an amazing amount of information. Topics covered include uniforms, medals, badges, food, nurses, equipment, poetry, music and much more. This site is no longer available but has been archived on Pandora.

Department of Veterans' Affairs This site has an online copy of the book Caring for your Wartime Memorabilia: A Guide to Preserving your Family's Heritage.This book covers diaries, letters, medals, photographs, artworks, film and an assortment of other ephemera. It also explains how to freeze items to get rid of insects.

Australian and New Zealand American Civil War Veterans. This site includes detailed biographies on those Australians and New Zealanders who fought in the American Civil War 1861-1865.

Australian Army History Unit This Unit is responsible for developing policy and programs for the collection, conservation, interpretation and promotion of Army history. This site has details of the Australian Military History Publications Program including a list of available books.

Defence Honours and Awards  This site provides information about Defence honours and awards including medals issued to Australia's defence personnel, past and present. The Campaign Medals section has information on, and images of, Australian and Imperial campaign awards made to Australians since Federation in 1901 and includes the Boer War 1899 -1902. This section is arranged as follows: 
• Since 1975  
• 1945-1975 
• World War II 
• World War I 
• Boer War 
• Badges (includes details of the Female Relative Badge, Mothers' and Widows' Badge and other badges) Updated

Information on Australian War Medals This site by the Armed Services Assistance Centre has information on and images of Service and Campaign Medals: Pre WWI, WWI, WWII and post WWII. Updated

British Regiments in Australia
Australia's Redcoat Settlers by B & M Chapman  This site features information on the British Regiments who served in Australia.  Information is arranged by regiment with detailed biographical information on those who chose to settle here. There are 37,000+ soldiers named. The site also includes soldiers who served in Australia and settled in New Zealand.

White Ensign Southern Cross 1788-1913 This site is dedicated to the naval officers, men and their families who settled in Australia. This extensive site has detailed information on the Royal Marines, colonial navies, colonial defence, naval military actions and ships plus details of known descendants. A deserters database, compiled from government and police gazettes, is available online and lists deserters name, ship, source and details (physical description, age, height, deserted from etc).

Land Forces of the British Empire by Stephen Luscombe Here you will find resources for tracing military regiments and also histories of the various regiments. There is also a massive amount of information on the British Empire. 

Military Regiments of the British Army A list of regiments that served in the Australian colonies by Graham Jaunay.

Society of Australian Genealogists - Index to Soldiers and Marines 1787-1830 A search returns name, rank, regiment, pay list/muster roll, reel/source and notes. 

Chelsea Pensioners - Out Pensions This index by Grahame Thom covers 1849-1853 for New South Wales. Men pensioned out of the British Army were known as Chelsea Pensioners because their pensions were administered through the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a retirement and nursing home for former members of the British Army. Those who lived at the hospital were known as in-pensioners and those who lived elsewhere were known as out-pensioners. Most were out-pensioners and were registered in a district where the local pay office was located. Each district kept records of Chelsea pensioners from when they first registered in the district or transferred in until they transferred out or died. These records detail a soldier’s career and can also provide information about next of kin. The original records are held by the Public Record Office London (War Office 22). They are available on film through the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP).

Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) Use this site for details of the AJCP and how to access records.

British Army Soldiers up to 1913: Further research Sections 5 and 6 of this guide by The National Archives (UK) covers searching for a soldier by pension dates and searching for a soldier by pension registration district 1842-1883.

Findmypast - Chelsea Pensioners Record Series War Office 97  These records relate to men pensioned out of the British Army 1760-1913. Pensions were administered through the Royal Hospital Chelsea hence the term Chelsea Pensioners. Most pensioned soldiers were out-pensioners and did not reside at the hospital. Those who did were known as in-pensioners. There is a free name search and various payments options to access the original records and images.

Colonial Forces
Defending Victoria by Ian MacFarlane  This site includes Victorian colonial, military and naval forces up to the Boer War and AIF, Australian Flying Corps and nurses up to the end of World War I.

Australian War Memorial - Sudan War Nominal Roll This roll lists details of personnel serving in the NSW Contingent to the Sudan, 1885. Included are the personal particulars, unit and fate of each person and for some individuals enlistment, embarkation and other details. 

Boer War
Australian War Memorial -Boer War Nominal Roll Database  This roll details those in Australian units during the Boer War.

Australians in the Boer War Oz-Boer Database Project bt Colin Roe This site has information on Australian soldiers and nurses who served in Australian units during the Boer War (1899-1902).

National Boer War Memorial Association (Australia) This site has extensive information relating to the Boer War, including details of the contingents and the soldiers. There is also a descendants database which can be searched online. Descendants of veterans can register their details online for inclusion in the database.

Australians Serving in the Boer War This site, by the Perth DPS, is arranged by state and has a list of contingents arrival and departure dates. An alphabetical list of soldiers showing, name, rank and comments is available for Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Graves and Memorials of Australians in the Boer War 1889-1902 This site, by the Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra, contains an online database to the South African graves for those Australians who died. Also includes maps, photographs of graves and monuments plus biographies for selected soldiers. There is also a searchable database of Australian Boer War memorials. The work on this database is on-going and contributions of photographs and transcriptions of memorials are welcome.

Queensland State Archives - Boer War Index (1899-1901) This index lists all Queensland Defence Force ranks who served in the South African War. The Boer War Index to Pay Books (1899-1902), compiled from Queensland Volunteer Defence Force pay books, lists name, rank, unit details and references. 

National Archives of Australia - Shop Available Research Guides include The Boer War: Australians and the War in South Africa, 1899–1902 by Craig Wilcox which can be read online.

Boxer Uprising
Boxer Uprising Nominal Roll Database This roll provides details of personnel serving in the NSW, Victorian and South Australian Contingents to the Boxer Uprising, China, 1900-1901.

World War I
Australian War Memorial - First World War Nominal Roll  This roll details of members of the AIF who served overseas during the First World War (1914-1918).

Australian War Memorial - First World War Unit Embarkation Rolls These rolls contain the details of about 330,000 AIF personnel, recorded as they embarked from Australia for overseas service during World War I. Search by name or browse by unit. Images of the rolls list unit, ship's name, port and departure date. Personnel details include rank, age, occupation, marital status, address, next of kin details, religion and pay rates.

The AIF Project Database  This database maintained by the University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, draws on a wide range of sources to provide details on 330,000+ men and women who served overseas in the Australian Imperial Force, 1914-1918. This database is fully searchable and provides a wide range of information. This site is currently not available. 

Australian WWI Records Finder. This site offers a one stop search for Australian First World War service personnel across the databases of the National Archives of Australia, Australian War Memorial and Commonwealth War Graves Commisssion. The search includes: New
• Service records held by the National Archives of Australia
• Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial
• First World War Embarkation Roll at the Australian War Memorial
• Red Cross Missing and Wounded files at the Australian War Memorial
• Honours and Awards database at the Australian War Memorial
• Commonwealth War Graves Commission database

Australian War Memorial - Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau files These files consist of 32,000+ individual case files (digitised) of Australian personnel reported as wounded or missing during the First World War.

Russian Anzacs During the First World War 1000+ Russian born servicemen fought in the Australian Imperial Force. They were the largest national group in the AIF after British, New Zealand and Canadian born servicemen. Their story is told in the book Russian Anzacs in Australian History by Elena Govor. This site provides additional information and lists all the Russian Anzacs' names with links to a fact sheet about each serviceman. Theses fact sheets contain biographical and service details, a list of materials and links to any digitised records.  

Australian War Memorial - The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 by Charles Bean This chronological record of all services and all theatres of conflict is available online.

Australian War Memorial - Australian Army War Diaries - First World War This ongoing project is digitising the Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries. These diaries generally record the date of each entry, the unit's location, a summary of events and any remarks or references to appendices. This is an ongoing project with diaries being added to the site as they become available. 

First AIF Order of Battle 1914-1918, This site, by Ross Mallett, lists the units and formations of the First AIF plus information about where they were raised, when they departed Australia and where they served. An extensive site that is well worth a visit. 

Firstworldwar.com by Michael Duffy This comprehensive site contains a vast amount of valuable cultural, historical and social documentation for the Great War.

Australian Flying Corps This site offers a complete history of the Australian Flying Corps (1914-1919). Includes links to aircraft, articles, books, people, references and squadrons.

National Library of Australia - Despatches from Gallipoli  This site offers insights into the Gallipoli conflict from the viewpoint of the official World War 1 correspondents. It includes war images, accounts of battles, examples of censorship and discussions of the Australian legend. This site is no longer available but has been archived in Pandora .

Mapping our Anzacs This site allows you to browse 375,971 records of service in the Australian Army during World War I according to the person’s place of birth or enlistment. Use this site to find a local service person and see their service record; add a note or photograph to the Anzac scrapbook or build an online tribute to people important to you. You need to register (free) to use the scrapbook or add a tribute.

National Archives of Australia has 500 images of World War I Australian servicemen online These images were identified by Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) staff member Courtney Page-Allen, a recipient of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship. To find them, she spent 18 months searching through the 16,000 World War I images held in the Bonds of Sacrifice collection of the Imperial War Museum, London. These images are currently being added to Mapping our Anzacs site above. New

Anzac Commemorative Site This site by the Commonwealth Department of Veteran Affairs has valuable information and photographs for researchers, teachers and those planning to visit Gallipoli.

State Records New South Wales - Nominal Roll of the First Railway Section, Australian Imperial Expeditionary Forces (AIF) A search return surname, other names, age, address, date of joining and references.

The World War I Document Archive This archive of primary documents, compiled by World War I Military History List volunteers, is international in focus.

The Long, Long Trail: The British Army in the Great War This site aims to provide all you need to know about researching a soldier in the British Army during WW1.

World War II
World War Two Nominal Roll This site was created to honour and commemorate the men and women who served in Australia's defence forces and the Merchant Navy. The online database, to all personnel who served, can be searched by name, service number, honours, place (of birth, of enlistment, or residential locality at enlistment). A certificate of service that is suitable for framing is available for printing online.

Australian War Memorial - AMF Prisoners of War and Missing in the Far East and South West Pacific Islands Database This database details approximately 23,000 prisoners of war and missing personnel as known at 30 June 1944. It includes Malaya, Java, Timor, Ambon, Rabaul, New Guinea and Papua plus No 1 Independent Company and South West Pacific Islands.

Australian War Memorial - Australian Army War Diaries Second World War  Army headquarters, formations and units were required to keep a unit war diary recording their daily activities when on active service. Digitised copies of these war diaries are being made available online.

Australian War Memorial - Second World War Official Histories The 22 volumes, written by 14 authors, titled Australia in the War of 1939–1945 includes S Series 1 - Army, Series 2 - Navy, Series 3 - Air, Series 4 - Civil and Series 5 - Medical.

Rats of Tobruk Association Victoria This site contains the basic records of all Victorian ROTA service members, Army, Navy and Air Force, who served during the siege of Tobruk, in 1941. Rats, descendants, relatives and others are invited to use this site and to provide updates for the database records.  Some of the many UK, Indian, Polish and Czech units who served alongside the Aussies during the Siege of Tobruk are also listed on this site.

Australia's War 1939-1945  This site by the Department of Veterans' Affairs has detailed information on various campaigns. New information and themes will be progressively added.

Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939-1945 This site, designed to preserve Commonwealth naval aviation heritage, includes a Roll of Honour and Personnel Register.

Nominal Roll of Australian Veterans of the Korean War This roll lists the details of 17,000+ men and women of the Australian Defence Forces who served in Korea, or in the waters adjacent to Korea, during the conflict and after the ceasefire (June 1950-April 1956).

Australian War Memorial - Australian Army War Diaries Korean War While on active service, Army headquarters, formations and units were required to keep a unit war diary recording their daily activities. Digitised copies of the diaries of 28 British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR), and some miscellaneous support units are available.

Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans This roll by the Department of Veteran Affairs lists 61,000+ who served in the Australian Defence Forces in Vietnam (1962-1975). It also names 1,600+ Australian civilians who were awarded or were eligible to receive the Vietnam Logistics and Support Medal (VLSM).

Australian War Memorial - Australian Army War Diaries, South East Asian Conflicts The diaries record operational activities in Malaya/Singapore, Sarawak-Brunei-Sabah and South Vietnam October 1952-August 1973. The majority relate to the Vietnam War. Digital copies are online.

The Australian Involvement in Vietnam This site details the history, the regiments, Long Tan, the RAAF and RAN in Vietnam, memorials, links and lots more.

Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia This site has a list of links to sites that relate to the war in Vietnam.

Gulf War
Preliminary Gulf War Nominal Roll This roll by Department of Veterans' Affairs includes personnel involved in the hostilities and associated operations in the Persian Gulf, August 1990 to September 1991. 

© Cora Num 1997-2013. Last updated 19 November 2013

Australian WWI Records Finder