Researching war trophies

First World War
Second World War
Other sources of information

First World War

The Research Centre holds files relating to the allocation of trophies and relics to individual towns and cities in the official record series AWM194 Allotment of 1914–1918 war trophies. The files contain information regarding the distribution of war trophies (machine-guns, trench mortars, other small weapons, etc.) brought back to Australia with the sanction of the imperial authorities after the First World War.

To identify trophy files relevant your research search the RecordSearch database using the name of the place as a keyword and "AWM194" as a reference number. For example, Keywords: "Naracoorte" and Reference number: "AWM194".

Some files of correspondence and policy concerning trophies sent to and from the Australian War Records Section in London are in the official record series AWM16 Australian War Records Section files, particularly AWM16 4386/1/*. To browse these files search RecordSearch using AWM16 4386/1/* in the Reference number field.

Egypt, 1918. Lieutenant G W R Jones, trophies officer of the Australian Imperial Force War Records Section
AWM B01381

Second World War

Some files relating to trophies can be found in official series AWM54 Written records, 1939–45 War. Files that may be of particular interest are those relating to enemy equipment (AWM54 320/4/*) and trophies and relics (AWM54 981/2/*).

To browse these files search RecordSearch using AWM54 320/4/* or AWM54 981/2/* in the Reference number field.

Some requests for trophies and other correspondence regarding trophies can be found in AWM93 Australian War Memorial Registry files. To identify these records search RecordSearch using the keywords "trophies request" and "AWM93" in the Reference number field.

Other sources of information

A small selection of photographs, films, and other items relating to the Australian War Records Section Trophy Store and some individual trophies can be seen on the Collections Search database.

Mark Clayton, To the victor belongs the spoils: a history of the Australian War Trophy Collection 1914–1993, thesis, MSS1521
Discusses the Australian collecting efforts in the light of the war trophy tradition, distribution of the First World War collection within Australia, its relationship with war memorials, and historical and contemporary significance. If you would like to order a copy of this record please see the Copying Services information sheet.

R.S. Billett, War trophies from the First World War 1914–1918, Kangaroo Press, East Roseville, NSW, 1999
Describes some of the trophies and their capture, as well as the process by which they reached Australia and were distributed. Includes directories of trophies allotted to states, the army, and the Memorial.

Further Information

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