Please note that discrepancies can occur between figures drawn from various sources. This can occur because different sources were used to compile the statistics and different criteria were sometimes applied to figures collected at various times by various bodies.

Total enlistments
Enlistments by force or service
Enlistments by year
Enlistments by state
Total embarkations
At end of war
VC recipients by state of enlistment

 

Total enlistments

Australian population 1914–18: approximately 4.9 million1

Around 420,000 Australians enlisted for service in the First World War, representing 38.7 per cent of the male population aged between 18 and 44.2

Sources:

1 Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, Official yearbook of the Commonwealth of Australia, no. 12, 1919 (Melbourne: Albert J. Mullett, 1919).

2 E. Scott, Australia during the war: the official history of Australia in the war of 1914–1918, vol. XI (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1941, p. 889).

 

Enlistments by force or service

Note: enlistment figures for each force or service do not represent individuals, as multiple enlistments were not uncommon.

Australian Imperial Force (AIF): 412,9531
(includes the Australian Flying Corps)

Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF): 3,6511
(infantry and naval reservists)

Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS): 2,8611

Royal Australian Navy (RAN): approximately 1,2752
(The RAN existed as a permanent force prior to the First World War with approximately 4,000 members. This is in addition to those already serving.)

Sources:

1 A.G. Butler, Special problems and services: the official history of the Australian Army Medical Services in the war of 1914–1918, vol. III (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1943, pp. 882, 890).

2 A.W. Jose, The Royal Australian Navy, 1914–1918: the official history of Australia in the war of 1914–1918, vol. IX (Sydney: Angus and Robertson,1937, p. 475).

 

Enlistments by year

Year Number enlisted
1914 52,561
1915 165,912
1916 124,352
1917 45,101
1918 28,883
TOTAL

416,809

Source:

A.G. Butler, Special problems and services: the official history of the Australian Army Medical Services in the war of 1914–1918, vol. III (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1943, p. 889).

 

Enlistments by state

State Number enlisted
Queensland 57,705
New South Wales 164,030
Victoria 112,399
South Australia 34, 959
Western Australia 32,231
Tasmania 15,485
TOTAL 416,809

Source:

E. Scott, Australia during the war: the official history of Australia in the war of 1914–1918, vol. XI (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1941, p. 874).

 

Total embarkations

Australian Imperial Force (including the Australian Flying Corps): 331,781

Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force: 3,011

Australian Army Nursing Service: 2,139 (not including 129 volunteers for Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service)

Source:

A.G. Butler, Special problems and services: the official history of the Australian Army Medical Services in the war of 1914–1918, vol. III (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1943, p. 882).

 

At end of war

Outcome Number affected1
Died before discharge from the AIF 60,284
Wounded in action (including gassing and shell shock) 155,133
Prisoners of war 4,044
Suffered from sickness or non-battle injuries 431,448

Note: the numbers given for wounded, sick, and injured represent the number of "woundings" or of sickness and injury, not the number of wounded, sick, or injured men. It was common for men to be wounded or sick on several occasions.

The Roll of Honour records the number of Australian deaths during the First World War as 61,5142. This includes deaths until the formal disbandment of the AIF on 31 March 1921. During the period 4 August 1914 to 11 November 1918 there were 59,357 deaths2. On average, 38 members of the Australian armed forces died per day during the 1,560 days of the war.

At 64.8 per cent, the Australian casualty rate (proportionate to total embarkations) was among the highest of the war.3

Sources:

1 A.G. Butler, Special problems and services: the official history of the Australian Army Medical Services in the war of 1914–1918, vol. III (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1943, p. 896–97).

2 Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour (2013).

3 E. Scott, Australia during the war: the official history of Australia in the war of 1914–1918, vol. XI (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1941, p. 874).

 

VC recipients by state of enlistment

In total, 63 Victoria Crosses were awarded to members of the Australian armed forces in the First World War.

State Number of Victoria Crosses
New South Wales 19
Victoria 18
Western Australia 10
Tasmania 7
Queensland 5
South Australia 4
Northern Territory 0

Sources:

L. Wigmore, They dared mightily (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1986).

National Archives of Australia, First Australian Imperial Force personnel dossiers, 1914-1920, series B2455.

 

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