Commemorative Roll

Introduction

The Commemorative Roll commemorates Australians who died during or as a result of service in wars, conflicts or operations identical with the Roll of Honour, but who are not members of the Australian armed forces.

The Commemorative Roll is in the form of:

  • a Commemorative Book located in the Memorial’s Commemorative Area;
  • the Commemorative Roll database, accessible through the Memorial’s website; and
  • the list of names on the Merchant Seaman's Memorial.

Search the Commemorative Roll database

 

History

The Commemorative Roll was primarily developed through appeals to the public for nominations, beginning in 1981, and names continue to be added through public recommendation. Additional names were obtained from other sources, such as Merchant Navy records and service records of Allied Forces. These names were originally added to index cards which form part of the Memorial’s Official Records collection and are known as AWM272, Card Index supporting the Australian War Memorial Commemorative Roll, 1981–90. Subsequent details of individuals are recorded in the Memorial’s correspondence files.

Records in the Commemorative Roll and database contain the personal particulars, unit and the date of death of each person. Some records may also contain cause of death, place of death, and cemetery or memorial details.

A small percentage of the Commemorative Roll records have digital images of Roll of Honour circulars attached. For the First World War the circulars were forms sent to next of kin seeking details regarding the deceased. For the Second World War these were forms completed by the Directorate of the War Graves Services. These circulars were completed in anticipation that the deceased would be eligible for the Roll of Honour. Where the deceased was not eligible for the Roll of Honour, but was eligible for the Commemorative Roll, the corresponding circular has been attached. Unfortunately circulars were not completed for each of the deceased.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility criteria for the Commemorative Roll are established solely by the Memorial’s Council. To be eligible, an individual must:

  • have died during or as result of service in a conflict or operation that is identical with those conflicts or operations included in the Roll of Honour and within the same start and end dates; and
  • have been born in Australia, or have had Australia as his or her last place of residence; and
  • have been a member of one of the following organisations or categories:
    • the armed forces of allied countries;
    • the Merchant Navy;
    • philanthropic organisations;
    • official war correspondents, photographers, or artists;
    • munitions and other workers;
    • official historians;
    • the Air Transport Auxiliary.