Roll of Honour Circulars, Japan & Korea

Accession Number AWM283
Collection type Official Record
Object type Official Record
Conflict Korea, 1950-1953

Item copyright: Commonwealth of Australia copyright

Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use, permission from copyright holder must be sought for commercial use

The Roll of Honour, which is situated in the cloisters of the commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial, records on bronze panels the names of approximately 102,000 Australians who have died as a result of active service with Australian forces, or those whose deaths, during designated periods, have been attributed to their war service in the conflicts in which Australia has been involved. The panels on the western side record the names of those who served in the Sudan, South Africa, China and the First World War while the panels on the eastern side record the names of those who served in the Second World War and all subsequent conflicts until the present day.

The Roll of Honour was originally intended to commemorate those who had lost their lives during the First World War. However, as Australia entered the Second World War the Memorial Board had to extend its scope to include the new conflict. It also extended the scope to include all future wars and retrospectively included the campaigns in the Sudan, China and South Africa. Further information on the Roll of Honour, its history and eligibility criteria can be found on RecordSearch in Series AWM141-153.

In March 1954 the Roll of Honour clerk, H. B. Hutchinson, visited Melbourne and held discussions with the three service departments on the general provision of information for the Roll of Honour for the Second World War and also to look at personal dossiers for those who died in Korea and Malaya (1950-53). For the Korean War, it appears that Hutchinson transcribed the relevant information onto old Roll of Honour circulars which had been printed in 1940 and used in a second mail out to next-of-kin seeking information about those who died in the First World War (AWM164).

Hutchinson was given access to personal information held by the Central Army Records Office and the Department of the Navy. Information relating to deaths in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for these periods was not made available to the Memorial until October 1956. On his return to Canberra, he prepared Roll of Honour cards from the information contained in the circulars for those servicemen who were eligible for the Roll of Honour. From the groups of circulars transcribed by Hutchinson, members of BCOF were ineligible and changes to the Australian War Memorial Act in 1952 had also excluded war correspondents. Following further amendments to the Act in 1975, war correspondents were once again included and their names can now be found on the Commemorative Roll.

This series of records was originally housed with AWM237: Roll of Honour cards, supplementary sources, 1885-1987. In 2000 the circulars were removed from this series and redesignated as Series AWM283.


The information contained in this small series of circulars or forms was transcribed from the personal dossiers of members of the Australian Military Forces and the Royal Australian Navy by the Memorial’s Roll of Honour Clerk in March 1954 prior to the preparation of Roll of Honour cards.

The circulars contain the following information:
Regimental number
Town chiefly associated with
Details of parents
Date and place of death
Age at time of death
Particulars of burial
Details of person providing information

System of arrangement and control:

The circulars have been arranged in folders by conflict and category of death.
Folder one contains the details of a war correspondent who was killed in Korea in 1951.
Folder two contains the details of eight members of the British Occupational Force (BCOF) who died in Japan during the occupation.
Folder three contains the details of 21 members of the Australian Army who were listed as missing in Korea in March 1954 when information for the Roll of Honour was compiled from records held by the Central Army Records Office in Melbourne.
The remaining four folders consist of details of members of the Australian Army who died as a result of service in Korea. The circulars have been arranged alphabetically by surname.

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