Wednesday 1 September 2010 by AWM Website Admin. 4 comments
Family history, Collection

Today, 1 September, is Ask a Curator day on Twitter.  One of the first questions we had was this one:

Q: Is there an overall index to colonial defence personnel pre 1900 either for each state or together?

The answer is, not really, but there are some starting places.  Because there is too much information to put on Twitter, we have written a blog post to list these sources. 

There are a some books:

Donohoe, James Hugh, 1941-;    The British Army in Australia 1788-1870 : index of personnel.   J S Shaw North,  1996.

Donohoe, James Hugh, 1941-;     The British Army in Australia : index of personnel: v. 1. 1788-1820.  J. Donohoe,  1993.

Statham, Pamela, 1944-; Jenkins, Sarah.; Booker, John, 1941-; Cox and Co.;   A Colonial regiment : new sources relating to the New South Wales Corps, 1789-1810. P. Statham,  c1992.  (NOTES:  Bibliography: p. 387-389. Includes a biographical listing of every soldier who served in the NSW Corps from 1790 to 1800 (called the Register) as compiled from various sources by Sarah Jenkins, and a transcription of a book of accounts detailing the financial transactions of the. orps with its Army Agent in London from 1800 to 1805 (entitled the Ledger), introduced and transcribed by John Booker. ) 

(try this quick search in Trove for more)

 And there are some records:

AWM1 Pre-Federation and Commonwealth records  contains some nominal rolls. (This record is listed on the National Archives of Australia's RecordSearch database, but you would need to come here to the Memorial to see it.)

National Archives of Australia Fact sheet 134 – Colonial defence personnel records held in Melbourne

The Memorial has nominal rolls for pre-1900 conflicts

We also have indices to 19th century NSW Corps service personnel in hardcopy in PR86/062: (though the link to reference images from that page is currently broken - we are working on it).

 Thanks to Jennie Norberry and Jessie Webb, who work in our Research Centre, for this information.


Shauna Hicks

Thanks for this quick response - gives me a great starting point! Most appreciated.

David Harrower

Thankyou for information but still can't find information on late 1800's to World War 1 on the 33rd Infanry Battalion (Armidale, N.S.W) Colonial Auxiliary Medal.

Jennie Norberry

@David - Robert Dalton's book "The Volunteer Officers' Decoration, the Volunteer Long Service Medal, the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer's Decoration, the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal to Australia, 1894-1938" includes details of those who received the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration to Australia from 1901-1938 and the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal to Australia from 1901-1937. The information was sourced from the Commonwealth Gazettes and appears to be arranged chronologically. This book is held by the Research Centre at the Memorial and the National Library of Australia. If you are unable to visit to view this book, you can request to borrow it via inter-library loan through your local library. A search of Trove at the National Library of Australia found another book that may be of interest, "The Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal" by J.M.A. Tamplin ( This book is held by the State Library of Victoria and Newcastle Region Library.

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This was very useful – I know where to start now, thank you so much.