Military vehicle records
The Memorial holds few records relating to specific military vehicles. Like all Commonwealth records available to the public, these records are catalogued on the National Archives RecordSearch database. The Memorial does not have the resources to conduct research for members of the public, so if you wish to check the files, you will need to visit the Memorial's Research Centre or hire a research agent.
There is no one series or overall listing for First World War vehicles used by the AIF. Sometimes lists of vehicles appear in unit war diaries AWM4, usually in the appendices. While these are conveniently available online, the unit war diaries are a large collection to go through and are organised by unit, not vehicle.
Second World War army
The Memorial holds the digitised series AWM126 “Army vehicle registration books” which covers Army (AMF) registrations from 1939 to 1972, and Second AIF registrations from 1939 to 1942.
The records are ordered numerically by Army Registration Number (ARN). In order to easily search this series you look up the ARN. If all you know is an chassis or engine number, you will need to work your way through each of the thousands of records in turn.
The information listed varies, but can include:
- Vehicle type (eg. truck, car, lorry, motorcycle)
- Carrying weight
- Body type (eg. General Service (GS), Kitchen, etc.)
- Engine number
- Chassis number
- Wheelbase (not for Second AIF vehicles)
- Model number or year (not for Second AIF vehicles)
- Tyre size (not for Second AIF vehicles)
- The Second AIF registers may include ship, port of embarkation, destination and date of departure for vehicles sent overseas
- The registers may also include some disposals information but it is not available for every vehicle listed in the series.
Some accident reports are held in AWM63, the titles of these reports do not usually include the ARN but may record unit, driver or other car numbers (possibly the Commonwealth Registration number). These can be viewed in the Memorial's Research Centre.