War Records Available Online; Tracing Your Family History and Starting a Family Tree Is an Absorbing Hobby That Can Involve All the Family. This Is Part One of Using War Service Records in Your Family History Research

Article excerpt

AUSTRALIA has been involved in many major conflicts in the world since NSW first sent a contingent to Sudan in 1885.

Records of these conflicts vary, from very sketchy in the early days through to the comprehensive archive of the First World War service dossiers.

The National Archives of Australia (NAA) holds most of the individual service records of Australian servicemen and women from 1901 onwards.

The Australian War Memorial (AWM) holds service records prior to 1901, and has embarkation and/or nominal rolls for all conflicts from Sudan to the Gulf War online.

The NAA personal records are grouped into four categories:

Boer War

First World War

Second World War

Other conflicts

Each of these can be searched for an individual name using the aname searcha screen.

Boer War

Online service dossiers held by the NAA generally only supply basic personal information (name, birthplace, description), with no details of service.

Few dossiers have been digitised.

The most comprehensive record of soldiers serving in the Boer War is the book Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa 1899-1902 by Murray.

From this book a searchable website has been created, at www.bwm.org.au/site/

Murray_Index.asp, and this is the best place to find details of Boer War service.

First World War

The First World War service dossiers of all Australian service personnel have been digitised, and are available for reading and copying at www.naa.gov.au.

As well as personal details, the full service record in all theatres is recorded for each person. …