The interest in Australian military history and research continues to grow at an astonishing rate, and with it comes the availability more resources online. I kept coming across a number of smaller, but very useful and fascinating military websites, so I started to compile them into a list.
So the 51 links listed here for Australian Military History and Research, is my list to far. I don’t claim that it is a comprehensive list, but I’m sure everyone researching an Australian who was in army will find some links of use.
The links relate to Boer War, World War I, and World War II, and have been divided in several categories, including one for sites you’ll find on Facebook. As Facebookers we know that Facebook can be much more that just updates from family and friends. It has become an important modern day source of information. And with the numerous sites around just related to Australian military history (and that’s without noting all the individual battalion sites), its just as useful and educational as other forms of media these days.
RESEARCH AND INFORMATION
Adelaide River War Graves
Adelaide River is a township lying 113 km south of Darwin, on the Stuart Highway, the main north-south road from Darwin to Alice Springs. During WW2, Adelaide River was the headquarters of a large base and the war cemetery was created especially for the burial of service personnel who died in this part of Australia. It was used by Australian General Hospitals Nos 101 107, 119, 121 and 129 and after the war the Army Graves Service moved into it other graves from isolated sites, temporary military burial grounds, and from various civil cemeteries in the area.
Adopt a Digger Project
The purpose of the Adopt a Digger Project is to commemorate that centenary by honouring the men and women from the (current) Sunshine Coast region of South-east Queensland who fought in World War One. The aim of this website is to create a database which records each soldier’s WW1 military history and a brief personal history. This database will be a valuable source of reference for historians, researchers, descendants and school students, and will be a significant contribution to the historical military records of Australia, and particularly the Sunshine Coast region.
The AIF Project: Australian Anzacs in the Great War 1914-1918
The AIF Project’s major activity is the construction of a database that draws on a wide range of sources to provide details on the 330,000 men and women who served overseas in the (First) Australian Imperial Force, 1914-1918.
ANZACs Online is an online military museum which displays photographs, diaries and letters, relating to the many Australians who served in the Australian Imperial Force during World War I. The goal is to try and find a picture of every WWI Australian serviceman and woman and have them all available in one location. The aim of this museum is to allow for these items of our Australian military history to be preserved and be made freely available as a shared resource, for current and future Australian generations alike.
Australia @ War
This website contains a wealth of information. It just takes a bit to work your way through it all though, as there’s no easy search function.
Australia’s War 1939-1945
This site was created by the Information Services Branch of the Office of the Board of Studies NSW for the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Australia’s War 1939-1945 is under progressive development. More detailed information and new stories relating to campaigns and themes will be added.
Australia Light Horse Association
The website of the Australian Light Horse Association Ltd, a non-profit organisation, whose aim is to preserve the history and tradition of the Australian Light Horse and its predecessors. The site is dedicated to the Australian Light Horse Regiments, and the Light Horsemen who served their country in both war and peace, and contains both historical and current information on famous regiments and famous battles, as well as information on both ordinary soldiers and commanders, existing Military Units, current Re-enactment Troops, and Light Horse Museums.
Australian War Graves Photographic Project
The Australian War Graves Photographic Archive is committed to procuring a digital photograph of every Australian War Grave and Memorial Commemoration … worldwide. Most Australians are aware of the service participation of our Armed forces; past and present, but many, would be surprised by the extent. The photographs procured throughout this project are being used to populate the searchable database. It will be accessible to all Australians and will attempt to continue and extend the awareness of the ‘ANZAC’ spirit.
Australian War Heroes
A national war memorial song and a tribute to the ANZAC spirit of mateship, courage and sacrifice. Over 100,000 Australians have lost their lives in the service and defence of our country. Along with their mates, they’re marching once again, in the towns and cities, across our great land. The song is timeless and honours the memory of those who have died in the service and defence of Australia in war.
Australian War Memorial
During the First World War Australian troops were officially encouraged to collect relics of the battles in which they had fought. The tradition of acquisition and preservation continues today, enhancing the written record of war, and has produced one of the finest military artefact, document, and media collections in the world. This web site makes some of those collections accessible online to everyone for the first time.
Australians in the Boer War – Oz-Boer Database Project
The Australians in the Boer War (Oz-Boer) Database Project is a free online search aid to help you identify books, journals, webpages and other ephemera dealing with individual Australian soldiers and nurses involved in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).
Boer War Memorial
Australia’s contribution was significant; we suffered casualty numbers which have only been exceeded by those of World Wars 1 and 2. In all, over 16,000 troops were engaged in the Australian contingents and another 7,000 Australians fought in other colonial and irregular units. Possibly 1,000 Australians lost their lives on service in South Africa during the Boer War. This site gives you the history of the war, details of existing memorials, the medals, battle honours, ancestor search, descendant database, the soldiers and much more.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Established by Royal Charter in 1917, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission pays tribute to the 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars.
Defence Honours and Awards
This provides information on Australian and Imperial campaign awards made to Australians since Federation in 1901 and includes the Boer War 1899 -1902.
An unofficial history of the Australian and New Zealand Armed Services.
Graves of Tasmania
Those behind the Graves of Tasmania site have been photographing and recording headstones in Tasmania, and have almost completed all of Southern Tasmania. This site includes some war cemeteries.
The Lost Diggers
Channel 7’s Sunday Night team made headlines with their sensational discovery of a secret collection of photographs of Australia Diggers in France. After following up on a rumour they found over 3,000 fragile photographic glass plate negatives in the attic of a dilapidated farmhouse in the small town of Vignacourt, a 2 hour drive north of Paris, near Amiens.
Mapping Our Anzacs
The idea behind Mapping Our Anzacs is to use place-based information to provide a new pathway to the records. Developed in-house by the National Archives web team, Mapping our Anzacs gives you three ways to commemorate the original Anzacs: 1. locate a service person; 2. add to the scrapbook; 3. build a tribute.
Military Historical Society of Australia
The Military Historical Society of Australia’s aims are the encouragement and pursuit of study and research in military history, customs, traditions, dress, arms, equipment and kindred matters; the promotion of public interest and knowledge in these subjects, and the preservation of historical military objects with particular reference to the armed forces of Australia.
This website is a historical and educational research site which contains information on the public monuments and memorials in all Australian States and Territories, which includes War Memorials. The object of this website is to document the monuments and memorials within Australia which have been erected by public desire to commemorate people or events. There are many monuments and memorials which have been erected to individuals or families in many towns across Australia. In many cases these memorials are included in this website if they were not solely erected by the immediate family.
National Archives of Australia
The NAA holds records about service in the Australian defence forces from Federation in 1901. Click on the Service records link under Using the Archives to find out how to access records relating to the Australian Army (Army), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and other records relating to wartime service. Digitised copies of first Australian Imperial Force (AIF) personnel dossiers (WW1) are online (free) and many of the WWII service records have been digitised and are online. If a record is not online copies (hard or digital) can be requested for a fee ($25).
The Navy List
The Navy List traditionally contains details of the officers of the Australian Navy. These past editions have been digitised and placed in the public domain. It covers the period 1905-1979.
Queensland War Memorial Register
This Queensland War Memorial Register is dedicated to the memory of the fallen and those who served Australia in the Armed Services. The Register honours service personnel that were drawn from Queensland communities.
Queensland WWII Historic Places
Between 1942 and 1945, Queensland became a support base for the war effort in the South West Pacific. With the rapid capture of Singapore by the Japanese forces and the subsequent bombing of Darwin and Townsville, Queensland felt vulnerable and many anticipated invasion. Fortifications, airfields and civil defence became an immediate priority. This website maps more than 1000 sites around Queensland of military significance during WWII.
During the First World War around 1000 Russian born servicemen fought in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). They were the largest national group in the AIF after British, New Zealand and Canadian born servicemen. Besides ethnic Russians these Russian born Anzacs included members of a score of different ethnic groups who lived in Russia – Finns and other Scandinavians, Estonians, Latvians, Germans, Lithuanians, Jews, Poles, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Ossetians, Georgians, Tatars, as well as Western European nationals born in Russia or posing as Russian subjects at enlistment. Their story is told on this website.
SA and NT War Memorials
There are over 5000 photos linked to over 1700 memorials on this site, which is dedicated to the people listed on the South Australian and Northern Territory War Memorials.
South Australians at War
Nothing can describe the trauma, courage, humour, loyalty and despair of war more evocatively than the words of people who have lived through them. Within the collections of the State Library are thousands of stories of the sacrifices and contributions South Australians have made to international conflicts.
Victorian War Heritage Inventory
This database contains information and images of sites relating to Victoria’s war history including war memorials, avenues of honour, memorial buildings, former defence sites and places of commemoration. It does not currently list moveable heritage objects such as honour rolls or museum collections.
Victorian Military Vehicle Corps
The VMVC is a non-profit club run by enthusiasts of ex-military vehicles. The club is based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. New members are welcome. The club will provide friendship, technical help and fun!
Victorians at War Oral History Project
Over the last century Victorians have played an important role in serving their country during times of peace and war. This website records the experiences and recollections of twenty Victorians through a series of interviews and the presentations of related material held in the State Library of Victoria’s special collections.
War Memorials in Australia
This site was created by Michael Southwell-Keely who died in 2006. The site continues as a memorial to him and in thanks to all those who contributed information, photos and provided encouragement and support for the site. It contains locations, descriptions and images of war memorials in the states and territories of Australia. Memorials include monuments, honour rolls, buildings and a variety of utilitarian facilities all erected in honour and remembrance of those who served their country in war.
War Memorials of Western Australia
There is no central registry of Memorials in Western Australia, this site attempts to list some of them and will be added to as new material comes to hand. At the end of WW1 every town had felt it’s effects with a high proportion of young men volunteering for service with many never to return from the battlefields. To commemorate and honour these men committees of local dignitaries and ex-Servicemen were formed in Towns and Districts throughout the State (some as early as 1915) to raise funds, decide on the type of Memorial and oversee it’s construction.
World War I Pictorial Honour Roll of Victorians
This site is dedicated to commemorate the lives of those who served in the Great War in pictorial form. With the upcoming 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Great War I felt it was appropriate that a site should be made available with photographs of not only those who made the supreme sacrifice for their country, but also all who served.
World War I Pictorial Honour Roll of South Australians
This site is dedicated to commemorate the lives of South Australians those who served in the Great War in pictorial form.
World War Two Nominal Roll
The World War Two Nominal Roll was created to honour and commemorate the men and women who served in Australia’s defence forces and the Merchant Navy during this conflict.
Australian Military Research
Australian Military Research provides research services into all aspects of Australian military services from the New Zealand Wars to Vietnam. Requests can cover medal roll confirmation, Service Records, Casualty checks and much more.
Medals, whether originals or replicas deserve to be mounted with military precision. One of the reasons our reputation continues to grow with serving members of the ADF and federal and state law enforcement agencies right across Australia and throughout the world on postings and deployments. We can accurately mount your medals (all medals on the site here have a mounting option included in each description), in either swing or court (sometimes called Royal) mount style in strict order of precedence.
Lost Medals Australia
This site is dedicated to returning medals that I (LtCol Glyn Llanwarne) have in my possession to the veteran’s nearest kin. Since 2000 I have been acquiring, researching and then returning lost medals to veterans or their families. I started out purchasing medals however; now I am supported through donations of ‘found’ medals and I no longer purchase them. I now use all my resources for research and trying to locate families. I do this free of any charge or fee.
Medals Gone Missing
Every year – thousands of War Medals are bought, sold and traded around the world. If your family is missing a war medal that once belonged to an ancestor – chances are, it could be your grandfather’s medals that are now in the hands of somebody else. Medals Gone Missing will help you to find and recover that lost war medal. But this website can do more than just find a missing medal. It can also help you to find items of militaria that were once issued to your respective relative. Or – if you are hosting an upcoming event and want the Militaria world to know about it, you can list any Upcoming event for free – no hidden costs or strings attached.
Stitches Enterprise (ST.ENT) have over 30 years experience in the study, supply and medal mounting of Australian military / service medals and undertake work for numerous units of the Armed Forces, Emergency Services and Associations, as well as thousands of individual satisfied customers all over Australia and around the world.
Zed’ s Medals
Zed’s Medals specialise in medal mounting, medal restoration, supply of replica medals, medal research and individual framing.
Adopt a Digger – researching WW1 diggers from Sunshine Coast Qld
The aim of this website is to create a database which records each soldier’s WW1 military history and a brief personal history. This database will be a valuable source of reference for historians, researchers, descendants and school students, and will be a significant contribution to the historical military records of Australia, and particularly the Sunshine Coast region.
All-Australia Memorial Photos
Photos and biographical notes of Australian World War 1 soldiers from Victoria.
ANZACs Online is an online military museum which displays photographs, diaries and letters, relating to the many Australians who served in the Australian Imperial Force during World War I. This is a non-profit website with a mission to commemorate the service of every Australian who served during World War I to ensure that their sacrifices and our history is preserved online for today’s Australians and future generations. Theie Facebook page is a great way to keep up with the latest news.
Australian War Graves Photographic Archive
The Australian War Graves Photographic Archive was began in 2000, and is committed to procuring a digitally photograph of every Australian War Grave and Memorial Commemoration; worldwide. ‘Like’ them on Facebook to keep up with the latest news.
Discover a Digger
Delve into the exciting world of Australian military history research and learn how you too can discover a relative’s war service details and learn about what they and their mates did during the war.
Frontline Australia 1942
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin Australia on 19th February 1942. Frontline Australia is the official brand name for the 70th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin. A two-week program of events and activities is planned in Darwin for 11 to 26 February 2012. Find out more about the program and visiting Darwin from the Frontline Australia website. We would love to hear your story, or your family’s story on the events of 1942 in Northern Australia – please share your story here.
The Lost Diggers
A historic trove of WWI photos lost in a French barn for nearly 100 years. For nearly a century a unique, these piece of Australian history has laid hidden and neglected among the dust and cobwebs of an attic in a disused French barn. Now Channel 7’s Sunday Night program has tracked down the incredible cache of 3000 glass plate photographic negatives — featuring Australia’s first Diggers on history’s bloodiest battlefield, the Western Front. Australian war memorial historians are thrilled with the poignant pictures — many of them the last, or only, images of men before they died in the unspeakable carnage of trench warfare. But together, we need your help in putting names to the faces of the lost diggers. Do you recognise anyone in these photos?
Regimental Books is an Australia’s Military Book and Unit History specialist. But more than just a bookseller, they can also help you discover Australia’s captivating military past with ideas for research, help with medal identification and mounting and more.
We Will Remember Them
A Community Project initiated by Wedderburn Korong Vale RSL to Commemorate the Centenary of World War One, by researching our WW1 Service Women, Men and Families. Over the next three years our objective will be to discover, record and catalogue Photos, War Diaries, Postcards, Letters to and from home, Local Newspapers articles, Memorabilia and Family Stories connected to our local AIF Service Men and Women .
WWI Lost Boys
This Facebook Page is a place to find or share photos of Aussie World War 1 Ancestors. Feel Free to Share your photos of Military Ancestors: Memorials, Parades, Honour Rolls in old Town Halls, Letters to and from Diggers, War Dairies, WW1 HMAT Ships, Photo’s taken by Diggers, Avenues of Honour etc.
I have noticed that you have stated “There is no central registry of Memorials in Western Australia” but actually there is.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet in WA has put together this great website which includes a list of War Memorials in Western Australia and the names on each. The website also includes written histories recorded by people who lived through the Second World War and other information relating to the West Australian contribution to the ANZAC Legend.
Goldfields War Museum Assistant
City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder
Phone: 08 9093 1083
Fax: 08 9021 6113
PO Box 2042, Boulder, WA 6432
This is a recent page on Facebook.
Provides a mini history of the activities of the 33rd Battalion 1st AIF, some maps to show their movements and a list of members.
All a work in progress
My book project about “Kitchener’s 100”, a collective biography on one hundred Australian doctors. Many had barely graduated university, when they answered an urgent telegram from Lord Kitchener to come and join the British Army. Each doctor has an amazing story tell, from their pioneering roots to the heroism they showed in World War 1, trying to stench the flow of blood. They were on a 12 month contract, but many stayed because they couldn’t bear the thought of not helping save lives. Some were killed, some committed suicide, others came home to lead long and very productive lives at the forefront of their communities, of scientific discovery and contribution. Release 2013!
Thanks Alona and Gould Genealogy for providing these links. I have bought many products from Gould over the years and they are a tremendous resource! Keep up the good work.
Have you seen this website?
Oooh, no I hadn’t seen that one. Thanks for letting me know 😉
Hi there – thanks for extensive list – always good to be able to help others with their research and we will be able to add some of those onto a list on our medals page too. You might also be interested in this snippet from our workroom – we were chuffed to get a national win in September for one of our medal frames prepared for the Centenary of WWl http://www.servicemedalsmelbourne.com.au/news/war-medal-frame-wins-australian-award/65989
New to this game but how do you research old army truck history?
Hi Chris, while I’m not 100% sure of who would be the best place for this info, but there’s two places I’d start by querying anyway, and they may well be able suggest something more specific.
Australian War Memorial
I hope this helps. All the best with your research.
There is definately a great deal to learn about this topic.
I really like all the points you have made.