Education activity – Research a soldier
Do you know of someone who served in Australia's military forces during the war? Maybe it was a relative or family friend? Have you read or heard about the story of an army commander, a nurse or an airman. Do you have a local war memorial? Visit your memorial and you will find the names of people who served and died from your area.
You can use the Memorial's online databases to investigate the war service of these people, including
- when and how long they served;
- where they were posted;
- if they were awarded decorations; and
- whether or not they survived.
To add another dimension to your research you may be able to find a photograph or work of art on your subject.
So start your investigations and build up a profile on your Australian serviceman or woman! Links to the databases and a brief description of each are provided below. Here are a few suggestions for you to look up. Some of these people died during war, some didn't, so you will need to draw upon a number of databases to gather your information.
The Roll of Honour records and commemorates the names of Australia’s war dead. Records in the Roll of Honour database contain the personal particulars, unit and the date of death of each person. Some records may contain cause of death, next of kin, town of enlistment and cemetery or memorial details. The Memorial is progressively attaching photographs, when available and appropriate, to the records.
Pre-visit activity: record the Roll of Honour panel number so you can find the name of your subject during your visit.
The Commemorative Roll records the names of those Australians who died while members of Allied Forces, the Merchant Navy, philanthropic organisations, as war correspondents, artists or photographers, and certain munition and other workers.
Nominal rolls list the names and basic service details of those who served in particular conflicts. The Memorial has created nominal rolls for the Sudan, Boer War, Boxer Uprising and First World War. The Memorial also links to nominal rolls created by the Department of Veterans' Affairs for the Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War and Gulf War.
Find out if your individual received a gallantry award and details of their actions which resulted in the award.
The Collections Search provides online access to the Memorial's collections of art, photographs, film, sound, private records, military heraldry and technology. While much of the collection cannot be displayed in the galleries at the one time, many are accessible on this site.
For guidance on researching an individual who served in a particular conflict, a prisoner of war or how to research the history of a unit please see the Memorial's information sheets.