Personal Service Records (First World War)

Over 324,000 Australians served overseas in the War of 1914–18. Of these, nearly 60,000 died, 152,000 were wounded and 4,000 were taken prisoner.

The service records of these servicemen and women are preserved in the Canberra office of the National Archives. The service records relate primarily to members of the First Australian Imperial Force. They include records of members of the:

  • Australian Flying Corps
  • Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force
  • Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train
  • Australian Army Nursing Service

Each service record usually consists of:

  • an attestation paper showing:
    • name
    • next-of-kin
    • employment / trade details
    • marital status
    • age
    • place of birth
    • physical description
    • prior military service
  • a service and casualty form "Form B103" listing:
    • when and how a soldier was injured
    • where treatment was received
    • movements and transfers between units
  • military correspondence

The National Archives has digitised Navy service cards for 1911-1970 and Army service records for the First World War. These can be viewed online on RecordSearch. Copies of most service records can be purchased through RecordSearch.

Members of the 2nd Australian Division in the trenches in France
Members of the 2nd Australian Division in the trenches in France – 1914–1918.
AWM EZ0007

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AWM E00022
France, December 1916. Australians outside their shelter in the ruins of a Somme village, using a steel helmet to scrape off the winter mud from their clothes.
AWM E00022

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