Roll of Honour

Introduction

The Roll of Honour records and commemorates members of the Australian armed forces who have died during or as a result of war service, or for Post-1945 conflicts, warlike service, non-warlike service and certain peacetime operations.

It takes the form of bronze panels in the Memorial’s Commemorative Area and the Roll of Honour database.

Records in the Roll of Honour 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. This information is based on card indexes, known as the Roll of Honour cards, that were used to compile the physical Roll of Honour located in the Memorial’s Commemorative Area. The cards contain information transcribed directly from original source records produced during or immediately after each conflict. In recent years the records on the Roll of Honour database have been enhanced with information from further research and other sources.

More than half the database records have digital images attached to them from records known as the Roll of Honour circulars. For the First World War, the circulars were forms sent to next of kin seeking details regarding the deceased. For the Second World War the forms were not sent to the next of kin, but were completed by the Directorate of War Graves Services. Circulars for those who died in the Korean War were completed in March 1954 by the Memorial’s Roll of Honour clerk. Circulars were not created for the other conflicts. Researchers should keep in mind that even in the conflicts where there were circulars, they were not created for every individual.

Eligibility Criteria

Questions of eligibility for the Roll of Honour are determined solely by the Memorial’s Council, and have been considered many times over the years by Council and before it by the Memorial’s Board. The following paragraphs summarise the current criteria for eligibility:

Pre–1914 conflicts

Sudan
South Africa
China

To be eligible, an individual must:

  • have died during service as a member of a naval or military unit raised by one of the Australian colonies or, after Federation, by the Commonwealth of Australia, or as a result of that service; and
  • have died within one of the following specified periods

First and Second World Wars

To be eligible, an individual must:

  • have died during service as a member of the Australian armed forces, or as a result of that service; and
  • have been a member of a unit which was, or could be sent overseas or, after the entry of Japan into the Second World War, a member of the Australian armed forces; and
  • have died within one of the following specified periods

Post–1945 conflicts

To be eligible, an individual must:

  • have died during service as a member of the Australian armed forces or the Australian Defence Force, or as a result of that service; and
  • have died during or as a result of service in a conflict or operation either,
    • classified by the Department of Defence as warlike, or
    • classified by the Department of Defence as non-warlike, or
    • classified by the Department of Defence as peacetime, and which Council agrees is appropriate for inclusion in the Roll of Honour; and
  • have died between the defined start and end dates of that conflict or operation; or as a result of service in that conflict or operation within two years of returning to Australia.

Australians who died during these periods of conflict but were not serving with Australian armed forces may be included in the Commemorative Roll.

Specified Periods

The official commencement and cut-off dates for inclusion in the Roll of Honour and the Commemorative Roll are as follows.

Conflict/operation Start date End date
Sudan 1885 1885
South Africa 11 October 1899 31 May 1902
China 6 August 1900 25 April 1901
First World War 4 August 1914 31 March 1921
Second World War 3 September 1939 30 June 1947
Japan 1 July 1947 28 April 1952
Papua and New Guinea 1 July 1947 16 September 1975
North Queensland Coast 1 July 1947 31 May 1950
Middle East 11 June 1948 Ongoing
Malayan Emergency 16 June 1948 31 July 1960
Berlin 26 June 1948 30 September 1949
Kashmir 13 August 1948 1985
Korea 27 June 1950 27 July 1957
Malta 9 July 1952 1955
Southeast Asia 2 July 1955 14 March 1975
Vietnam 3 August 1962 29 April 1975
Indonesian Confrontation 24 December 1962 11 August 1966
Malay Peninsula 19 February 1964 11 August 1966
Thailand 25 June 1965 31 August 1968
Irian Jaya 12 July 1976 15 November 1981
Western Sahara 5 September 1991 25 May 1994
Somalia 20 October 1992 28 March 1995
Bougainville 20 November 1997 26 August 2003
East Timor 19 June 1999 19 April 2013
Afghanistan 11 October 2001 Ongoing
Iraq 18 March 2003 14 December 2013
Solomon Islands 24 July 2003 30 September 2013
Indonesia 28 March 2005 18 April 2005
Fiji 31 October 2006 22 December 2006

Additions and Amendments to the Roll of Honour

The Memorial takes very seriously its responsibility in managing the Roll of Honour and Commemorative Roll and ensuring they record the sacrifice made by Australians in war and on military operations. The accuracy of the data contained in the Honour Rolls is important to us, and we invite you to contact us in respect to potential amendments or additions to the Honour Rolls. Find out more