Researching Australian military service: Malayan Emergency, 1948–60
"Nominal roll of the Australian Military Forces who qualified for the General Service Medal Bar Malaya ", in Neil C. Smith, Mostly unsung: Australia and the Commonwealth in the Malayan Emergency 1948–1960 (Melbourne, 1989), appendix 8, pp. 47–125
Service records of those who served with Australian forces are held by the National Archives of Australia. You can apply to the National Archives for copies of personal service records.
The Roll of Honour records the names of servicemen and servicewomen who died during or as a result of service with Australian military forces. The Roll of Honour introduction provides detailed information about Roll of Honour eligibility.
War diaries were kept by the commanding officer of the unit to record their daily activities and location. The war diaries are held in the official records series AWM95, which has been digitised and is available for viewing on the Memorial's website.
There are a limited number of unit profiles of Malayan Emergency units available on the Memorial's website. The profiles include a short history of the unit, details of its casualties, decorations, battle honours and commanding officers.
Royal Australian Navy
Reports of Proceedings (ROPs), known previously as “Letters of Proceedings”, are summaries of a ship’s or shore base’s activities. The reports were submitted by commanding officers to the Chief of Naval Staff. To identify relevant ROPs in the Memorial’s collection use the RecordSearch database, entering the name of the ship as your keyword and AWM78 in the series number field. These records are available for viewing in the Research Centre. The Memorial is progressively digitising its collection of ROPs, many of which are now available for viewing online.
Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) formation and unit records (AWM64) were kept to record operations and activities of RAAF units. The records are available for viewing on microfilm in the Research Centre. The original records have been withdrawn from public access due to their fragile nature. Original records are only issued when no microfilm copy is available. The National Archives of Australia has a duplicate eries A9186, many records of which have been digitised and are available online through the RecordSearch database.
Official histories are a detailed chronological record of all services and all theatres of a conflict. Volume 5 of The Official History of Australia's Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts 1948-1975 deals with Australian military involvement of all three services in the Malayan Emergency and Indonesian/Malaysian Confrontation:
Peter Dennis and Jeffery Grey, Emergency and Confrontation: Australian military operations in Malaya and Borneo 1950-1966 (Allen and Unwin and the Australian War Memorial: Sydney, 1996).
For further information refer to our information sheet Researching the history of a unit.
Refer to our information sheets:
- Collections Search gives access to images of photographs held by the Memorial.
- Trove includes photographs and other images held by a range of major Australian libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions.
- State libraries and archives. For contact details, see our information sheet, Addresses.