Governor General's Office, index to honours and awards

Accession Number AWM192
Collection type Official Record
Object type Official Record
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Commonwealth of Australia copyright

Copying Provisions Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

This series consists of index cards of recommendations for honours and awards for the Second World War, Korean War and Malayan Emergency. During this period the Australian government still followed the British system of honours and awards when making recommendations for deeds of bravery and gallantry and for distinguished conduct or service.

Recommendations from within the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy or the Royal Australian Air Force were forwarded to their respective service boards and then forwarded to Government House for approval by the Governor-General. A number of awards were also made to civilians, members of the Allied forces and the Merchant Navy. Once they were approved, notifications were made in the London Gazette and the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette.

Award ceremonies or investitures were usually held at Government House in the state of origin of the recipient. A number of ceremonies were also held at Buckingham Palace in London. Where recipients could not attend a ceremony an award was sent to them by mail.

The series also contains details of awards to Australians from overseas countries, e.g., a copy of the United States Presidential Citation, which was awarded to the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, during the Korean War.

The files and index cards relating to recommendations for the Second World War were transferred to the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in November 1962. The files for the Korean War and Malayan Emergency were transferred in January and March 1971. The index cards for this later period were retained by the Governor-General’s Office until July 1993 when they were transferred to the AWM and accessioned as OW93/14.

The series became known as AWM88 in the mid 1980s when the Memorial adopted its new numbering system for Official Records.


This series of index cards is the control series to AWM88, which consists of files relating to the award and presentation of insignia, decorations and medals to Australian service personnel, members of the Allied forces, civilians and members of the Merchant Navy. The files include administrative correspondence relating to the promulgation of the award and its presentation to recipients, lists and texts of citations and transcripts of the actual recommendations where available. Recommendations are not available for all awards, e.g. a ‘Mentioned in Despatches’ (MID) awarded to members of the Australian Military forces is usually in the form of a list of names from the gazette due to the large numbers that were awarded.

System of arrangement and control

The cards in this series are arranged alphabetically by surname and contain the following information:
Name, rank, service number and service
Award for which recommended
Date recommended by the Governor-General
Date promulgated in the London Gazette
Date promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette
Brief citation
Date and place of presentation of an award
Address of the recipient at the time of presentation

Researchers should note that the amount of information found on each card varies and they may not contain information in all of the categories mentioned above.

Using the series
The index cards (AWM192) which control AWM88 have been digitised and are now available on the Memorial’s website: ‘Honours and Awards’. Once researchers have located the name or names that they are interested in they will need to record the G. H. File number or numbers from the right hand side of the card to access the original file, e.g. G. H. File: AMF 0/A 41 or G. H. File: RAAF 0/A 25. In some cases there may be more than one file containing information about an award, e.g., files relating to the presentation of awards are separate to the recommendation files. Researchers will need to fill out a stack request slip for each file number that appears on the index card.

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