Honours and Awards Introduction
The Honours and Awards data set provides details of honours and awards to Australians while on active service with Australian forces. Honours and awards are conferred in recognition of gallant or distinguished conduct or service. There are three components to Honours and Awards:
- First World War recommendations
- Index to recommendations: Second World War, Korean War and Malayan Emergency
- Gazetted Honours and Awards
- Not all recommendations lead to the award being gazetted
- Not all gazetted awards have corresponding recommendations
- Campaign or service medals are not included
Enquiries relating to information contained in Honours and Awards, including corrections, should be directed to the Research Centre.
Honours and Awards (Gazetted)
Honours and Awards (Gazetted) contains details of approximately 47 000 honours and awards made to Australians while on active service with Australian forces in these conflicts:
- Boer War
- First World War
- Second World War
- Korean War
- Malayan Emergency
- Vietnam War
Honours and Awards (Gazetted) includes:
- gallantry and meritorious awards to members of all three services, Army, Navy and Air Force
- Australian and foreign awards (excluding foreign awards for the Vietnam War)
- some Australian awards to foreign soldiers in Australian units (such as British officers in the Australian Imperial Force)
- foreign awards to Australians in Allied forces (such as Australians in the Royal Air Force)
- peacetime New Years, King’s Birthday and Queen’s Birthday military honours
Honours and Awards (Gazetted) does not include:
- long service awards
- Royal Victorian Order Awards
- campaign and service medals
- recommendations for awards which were not subsequently made
Honours and Awards (Gazetted) was originally created by Anthony Staunton, a military history researcher and was compiled using:
- London Gazette
- Commonwealth of Australia Gazette
- original honours and awards recommendation files
- published lists of award winners
- Army orders
- biographical sources
First World War recommendations
These recommendations are sourced from the Official Records series AWM28, Recommendation files for honours and awards, AIF, 1914-18 War. The files were created by the Department of Defence between 1915 and 1919 and were originally held by Base Records Office in Melbourne. They were transferred to the Australian War Memorial in 1938. The files have been digitised to help preserve the originals which are now too fragile to be handled or copied.
Index to Recommendations: Second World War, Korean War and Malayan Emergency
The index to recommendations was sourced from the Official Records series AWM192, Governor-General’s Office, index to honours and awards, and indexes the Official Records series AWM88, Governor-General’s Office, honours and awards files. The files came to the Australian War Memorial from the Governor-General’s Office in 1971, with the index cards following in 1993.
The index cards contain some personal details, the date the award was recommended by the Governor-General and the associated AWM88 file reference. Sometimes a brief citation is included as well as information relating to the promulgation in the London Gazette and/or Commonwealth of Australia Gazette and other information relating to the presentation of the insignia.
It is possible that up to four references to original files may be made on each index card. These references appear against the fields marked “G.H. File” (e.g. AMF 10/L). It is the file marked against “Citation (G.H. File...)” that will provide the most information, usually including the citation. The letters “nca” stand for “no citation available”.
The original AWM88 files that the index cards reference may contain administrative correspondence such as telegrams, lists and text of citations, recommendations relating to the award and presentation of insignia, decorations and medals. These files have not yet been digitised but are held in the Memorial’s Research Centre.
The search will automatically search using a wildcard at the end of the name you search. For example, a search using John will return results with John, Johns, Johnston, etc.
You can also search using wildcards in the middle of a name. If unsure of spelling, use a full stop to replace the single letter in question. For example, a search using Sm.th will return results with Smith and Smyth.
If it is possible there is more than one letter in the variation use an asterix in place of the letters. For example, a search using M*Donald will return results with McDonald and MacDonald. It will also return instances of first names with m and the surname Donald, e.g. Michael Donald.
To search for an exact phrase, enclose the name in quotation marks. This will return results with the name in the order you have specified. For example, a search using “John Smith” will return results with John Smith, Robert John Smith, etc.
Some names have not been entered as full names in the database. Both AWM28 and Honours and Awards (Gazetted) are known to have a number of entries with only the initials entered for first names.
The search will match the number you enter into this field. A search using “10” will return all results with 10 in the service number field.
If you are unsure of a single digit within a service number you can search using a full stop in place of that digit. For example, searches using 10.7 will return 1007, 1017, 1027, 1037, etc.
If you are unsure of more than one digit within a service number, you can search using an asterix in place of the digits. For example, a search using 1*7 will return 17. 107, 1007, 10007, etc.
The search will automatically search using a wildcard at the end of the terms you search. For example, a search using 2 Batt will return 2 Batt, 2 Battalion, 2 Battery, 2nd Battalion, 21 Batt, 21 Battalion, 2/1st Battalion, etc.
Please note that unit names are not always entered in the database or entered consistently. A unit name may be recorded in a number of ways. For example, the 2 Battalion could be entered as 2 Batt, 2nd Batt, 2 Battalion, 2nd Battalion, 2 Battalion Australian Infantry, 2nd Battalion Australian Infantry.
Select an award from the drop down menu to only search on those who were awarded or recommended for the award.
Please note that award names have not been entered into the database consistently. They may be entered with variant spellings or as abbreviations. For example, Mentioned in despatches is entered as Mentioned in despatches, Mentioned in dispatches, Mentions and MID.
Using this drop down menu you can choose to search for only honours that were awarded, only honours that were recommended or across both awarded and recommended honours.
Using this drop down menu you can restrict your search to awards made during particular conflicts. Or, in the case of peacetime awards, by the authority awarding the honour.