The Roll of Honour records and commemorates members of the Australian armed forces who have died during or as a result of war service, or for Post-1945 conflicts, warlike service, non-warlike service and certain peacetime operations. It takes the form of bronze panels in the Memorial’s Commemorative Area and the Roll of Honour database, which is accessible via the Memorial’s website.

Eligibility

Questions of eligibility for the Roll of Honour are determined solely by the Memorial’s Council, and have been considered many times over the years by Council and before it by the Memorial’s Board. The following paragraphs summarise the current criteria for eligibility:

Pre–1914 conflicts

To be eligible, an individual must:

  • have died while serving with or directly as a result of service with a military unit raised by one of the Australian colonies or, after Federation, by the Commonwealth of Australia; and
  • have died during or as a result of service in one of the following conflicts, within the specified periods:
    Sudan
    South Africa
    China

First and Second World Wars

To be eligible, an individual must:

  • have died during or as a result of service while a member of an Australian military force or unit which was or could be sent overseas or, after the entry of Japan into the Second World War, while a member of the Australian Military Forces; and
  • have died within the specified periods.

Post–Second World War conflicts

To be eligible for the Roll of Honour, an individual must:

  • have died during service as a member of the Australian armed forces or the Australian Defence Force, or as a result of that service; and
  • have died during or as a result of service in a conflict or operation that is either,
    • classified by the Department of Defence as warlike, or
    • classified by the Department of Defence as non-warlike or peacetime, and which Council agrees is appropriate for inclusion on the Roll of Honour under the heading ‘Operational Service’; and
  • have died between the defined start and end dates of that service; or died within two years of returning to Australia from that service.

Australians who died during these periods of conflict but were not serving with Australian armed forces may be included in the Commemorative Roll.

Specified Periods

The official commencement and cut-off dates for inclusion in the Roll of Honour and the Commemorative Roll are as follows.

Conflict/operation Start date End date
Sudan 1885 1885
South Africa 11 October 1899 31 May 1902
China 6 August 1900 25 April 1901
First World War 4 August 1914 31 March 1921
Second World War 3 September 1939 30 June 1947
Japan 1 July 1947 28 April 1952
Papua and  New Guinea 1 July 1947 16 September 1975
North Queensland Coast 1 July 1947 31 May 1950
Middle East 11 June 1948 ongoing 
Malayan Emergency 16 June 1948 31 July 1960
Berlin 26 June 1948 30 September 1949
Kashmir 13 August 1948 1985
Korea 27 June 1950 27 July 1957
Malta 9 July 1952 1955
Southeast Asia 2 July 1955 14 March 1975
Vietnam 3 August 1962 29 April 1975
Indonesian Confrontation 24 December 1962 11 August 1966
Malay Peninsula 19 February 1964 11 August 1966
Thailand 25 June 1965 31 August 1968
Irian Jaya 12 July 1976 15 November 1981
Western Sahara 5 September 1991 25 May 1994
Somalia 20 October 1992 28 March 1995
Bougainville 20 November 1997 26 August 2003
East Timor 19 June 1999 19 April 2013
Afghanistan 11 October 2001 Continuing
Iraq 18 March 2003 Continuing
Solomon Islands 24 July 2003 Ongoing
Indonesia 28 March 2005 18 April 2005
Fiji 31 October 2006 22 December 2006

 

In previous years, names were not added to the Roll of Honour until the Department of Defence had determined that a conflict had ended. However, since the Second World War, Australians have been involved in a number of conflicts that have sometimes continued over many years. For example, warlike operations continued for various elements of the Australian armed forces in the Vietnam War from August 1962 to April 1975. The Memorial’s Council resolved at its August 2004 meeting that the names of those who have died in recent conflicts would be added to the Roll once a year on Remembrance Day. The Council instituted the change in response to public expectation that the names be added as soon as possible. Note: this means the figures shown on the Roll of Honour database for current conflicts do not necessarily correlate with the details on the statistics page on this website.

Content

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. This information is based on card indexes, known as the Roll of Honour cards, that were used to compile the physical Roll of Honour located in the Memorial’s Commemorative Area. The cards contain information transcribed directly from original source records produced during or immediately after each conflict. In recent years the records on the Roll of Honour database have been enhanced with information from further research and other sources.

Burial Details

Researchers should note that while the details recorded on the both the circulars and the Roll of Honour cards were correct at the time they were compiled, circumstances of burial may have changed. In many cases smaller cemeteries or individual burial sites were consolidated into larger cemeteries, meaning that some bodies were re-interred elsewhere. Therefore it is always best to check the final place of burial through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Roll of Honour circulars

More than half the database records have digital images attached to them from records known as the Roll of Honour circulars. For the First World War, the circulars were forms sent to next of kin seeking details regarding the deceased. For the Second World War the forms were not sent to the next of kin, but were completed by the Directorate of War Graves Services. Circulars for those who died in the Korean War were completed in March 1954 by the Memorial’s Roll of Honour clerk. Circulars were not created for the other conflicts. Researchers should keep in mind that even in the conflicts where there were circulars, a circular was not created for every individual.

Photographs

The Memorial is progressively attaching photographs, when available and appropriate, to Roll of Honour database records. If you have a photograph you would like to be included on the Roll of Honour, or are aware of a photograph on the Collections Search please contact the Photographs section. Other photographs from the Memorial's collection may be found in the Collections Search.

Search tips

Name

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, Johnstone, etc.

You can also search using wildcards in the middle of a name. If unsure of spelling, use an asterisk to replace the letters in question. For example a search using Sm*th will return results with Smith and Smyth and a search using M*Donald will return results with McDonald and MacDonald.

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.

Service number

The search will match the number you enter into this field. So if you search using 10 with 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 a search 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.

Unit name

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, 2/1 Battalion, 2/1st Battalion, etc.

Please note that unit names are not entered in the database consistently so 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.

Date of death

If searching using date of death you must include the year of death.

Further information

Enquiries relating to information contained in this database, including corrections, should be directed to HonourRolls@awm.gov.au.