Australian soldiers and the Australian Infantry Force ambulance at Australian headquarters, London 1915, nla.obj-133844527
As a gift to the nation, World War 1 service records have been digitised and are freely available online.
Defence service records set out the essentials of a person’s service in the forces. They will tell you information such as which unit or ship a person served. Information about these units, what they did and where, can often be found in unit records held by the Australian War Memorial (AWM) or in published sources. The following AWM links are particularly useful:
Service records also show any decorations received. You can read about campaign and service medal entitlements on the Department of Defence Defence Honours and Awards site. To find records of honours and awards made to Australians search the Honours and Awards database at the AWM.
The records include the exact date, Gazette number and page number for announcements of the awards in both the London and Commonwealth Gazettes. The London Gazette has been digitised. Note that a complete citation was not usually published, only the name, rank and unit. A full citation may be in the service record.
Several useful books for military research are:
- A Soldier in the family: a source book for Australian Military Genealogy: the first fleet to the Gulf War
- How to Trace your Military Ancestors in Australia and New Zealand
- Digging for Diggers: a guide to researching an Australian soldier of the Great War, 1914-1918
If you are unable to visit the Library, Trove can help you find and get items at a library near you.