Prisoners of War Introduction
AMF Prisoners of War and Missing, Far East and South West Pacific Islands contains details of approximately 23,000 names of AMF prisoners of war and missing personnel from operations in the Far East and South West Pacific Islands, as known at 30 June 1944.
The Official Records series AWM232, Records of 2nd Echelon, Land Headquarters - Australian Military Forces prisoners of war and missing, Far East and South West Pacific Islands was created by 2nd Echelon, Land Headquarters and was transferred to the Australian War Memorial in 1952. It consists of several volumes listing the names of prisoners of war and missing as at 30 June 1944.
Item 1 which is the alphabetical listing of all names by theatre of war has been digitised and is attached to the relevant entries in AMF Prisoners of War and Missing, Far East and South West Pacific Islands. The series also contains two volumes of photographs which can be viewed in the Memorial's Research Centre. Many of these photographs are also available for viewing on the Collections Search.
Coverage and Content
Records cover the Far East and South West Pacific Islands area during the Second World War and were originally arranged by the following theatres of war:
- New Guinea and Papua
- No 1 Independent Company and South West Pacific Islands
Each entry contains the following information where known: initials, surname, service number, rank, unit, casualty, location of camp, source (where the information came from), theatre of war and notes.
The original records contain many abbreviations, the majority of which can be found in the AWM 232 alphabetical list by theatres of war (PDF).
Please note names are indexed on the database using only initials and surname.
The search will automatically search using a wildcard at the end of the name you search. For example a search using John will return results with John, Johns, Johnston, Johnstone, etc.
You can also search using wildcards in the middle of a name. If unsure of spelling, use an asterisk to replace the letters in question. For example a search using Sm*th will return results with Smith and Smyth and a search using M*Donald will return results with McDonald and MacDonald.
To search for an exact phrase, enclose the name in quotation marks. This will return results with the name in the order you have specified. For example a search using “John Smith” will return results with John Smith, Robert John Smith, etc.
The search will match the number you enter into this field. So if you search using 10 with will return all results with 10 in the service number field.
If you are unsure of a single digit within a service number you can search using a full stop in place of that digit. For example a search using 10.7 will return 1007, 1017, 1027, 1037, etc.
If you are unsure of more than one digit within a service number you can search using an asterix in place of the digits. For example a search using 1*7 will return 17, 107, 1007, 10007, etc.
The search will automatically search using a wildcard at the end of the terms you search. For example a search using 2 Batt will return 2 Batt, 2 Battalion, 2 Battery, 2nd Battalion, 21 Batt, 21 Battalion, 2/1 Battalion, 2/1st Battalion, etc.
Please note that unit names are not entered in the database consistently so a unit name may be recorded in a number of ways. For example the 2/17 Battalion could be entered as 2/17 Batt, 2/17th Batt, 2/17 Battalion, 2/17th Battalion
Enquiries relating to information contained in the AMF Prisoners of War and Missing, Far East and South West Pacific Islands should be directed to the Research Centre.