First World War Nominal Roll Introduction
The First World War Nominal Roll is a single alphabetic listing of approximately 324,000 names of members of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) who served overseas during the First World War. The Nominal Roll consists of digitised images of the Official Records series AWM133, Nominal Roll of Australian Imperial Force who left Australia for service abroad, 1914-1918 War.
The roll was compiled before October 1919, probably at Australian Imperial Force Administrative Headquarters, London. It is believed that the roll was compiled to assist with the administrative arrangements necessary to repatriate members of the AIF to Australia. The sources on which the roll was based are not known.
The roll includes the names of those who served with the Australian Flying Corps and Australian Medical Corps, but not the names of those who served with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force.
The entries in the roll record the following information for each individual, from left to right:
- Service number (Officers and nursing sisters were not allocated service numbers)
- Final rank
- Surname, first name (including some but not all honours)
- Unit of service at the time of death or at the end of the war
- Date of enlistment
- Non-effective entry (i.e. how that person became no longer effective, for example Returned to Australia); also referred to as "fate". A blank indicates that the person was still effective abroad at the time of compilation of the roll
- Date of death or start date of non-effect
If you have difficulties understanding the abbreviations used for units and fate, please consult the Memorial’s Glossary.
Listing of names
Names are listed alphabetically using the surname plus only the initial(s) of the first names even though most names are printed out in full. The service number in ascending order is used to list names in which the surname and first initial(s) are identical to others.
Within some sequences of surname and initials officers are listed separately, either before or after other ranks which have the same surnames and initial(s). Nurses are listed either before or after the alphabetic sequence of their surname plus initial(s). These sequences are most apparent for common surnames.
The given unit in the Nominal Roll is the unit in which a person last served. This may not be the one to which an individual was posted at the time of enlistment or embarkation or in which that person spent most of the enlisted period.
It should be noted that the date for return to Australia is usually the date an individual embarked for return to Australia, not the actual date of arrival in Australia. The latter date may be 6-8 weeks later.
Errors & omissions
There are several errors of fact and omission within the roll. Sometimes a surname may have been incorrectly spelt, or only one first name is given. Also, the alphabetisation is not strictly maintained.
The authoritative source of information on individual service men and women is the personal service record. Copies of First World War service records can be obtained from the National Archives of Australia.
Search the nominal roll using the individual’s surname. When the search results are displayed select the page containing the range of names that will include your individual.
Enquiries relating to information contained in the First World War Nominal Roll should be directed to the Research Centre.
For more information on researching servicemen and servicewomen who participated in the First World War, see the information sheet Researching Australian military service: First World War.