World War 1
Exploring the Australian War Memorial website would help novices gain confidence in using the internet for family history research. It is among the very best for being user friendly and rewarding. If you have WW1 soldiers in your family tree why not follow up ANZAC Day with a visit to the Australian War Memorial Biographical Databases.
Here you can search by name and view images of actual documents as pdfs.
For Australians who died on active service in WW1 the Roll of Honour will show a form of 'Particulars Required for the Roll of Honour of Australia in the Memorial War Museum'. As well as details about the soldier this form will show the name and address and relationship of the person who supplied the information.
The Nominal Roll will show service number, rank, surname, given names, unit, date of enlistment and another date with RTA (Returned to Australia), KIA (Killed in Action), DOW (Died of Wounds) or Disch (Discharged).
The Embarkation Roll pages have eighteen columns and will display very small print so increase the viewing size to at least 150% in Acrobat Reader for easy reading. The information here includes age, occupation, address at enlistment, NOK (Next of Kin) and their address. This could be father, mother, sister, brother, aunt or friend. Scroll to the extreme right across the pay rates for 'Remarks' which will show acting ranks for men listed on that page. On any given sample page for men who embarked from Melbourne you will see a range of Victorian home towns. It is quite moving to note that the overwhelming majority of these young men were in their early twenties and the ages of the youngest were often overstated. Many of the surnames are recognisable as the young grandsons of goldrush immigrants who settled on the goldfields of Central Victoria. A whole generation was thrown into disarray by the events of The Great War and the immensity of casualities was a tragedy felt in all communities.
Biographical rolls can be searched for all Australian servicemen and women in all conflicts. An encyclopedia and glossary will explain unfamiliar terms, abbreviations and acronyms.
Also visit the National Archives of Australia naa.gov.au/ to view war service records.
On this site are the names and details of about ten thousand ANZACs buried in the
26 cemeteries or listed on memorials at Gallipoli. Search the name index to Gallipoli Graveyards.
This is another most attractive educational site of general interest. There are pictures of the interpretive panels erected at the ANZAC Commemorative Site, North Beach, Gallipoli, as well as paintings and much poignant reading of letters and nurses' stories.
The Soldiers Walk (Tasmania)
This is the web version based on the original WW1 Avenue of Honour in Queens Domain, Hobart.
It has a searchable database of detailed information about the fallen soldiers, mainly from the Hobart area. A feature of this site is the photographs.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Search the Debt of Honour register for casualties or cemeteries. This website is a tribute to the 1 700 000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars.
NZ WW1 Honour Roll
Search this database via an alphabetical list to find information about the soldiers and the names and addresses of their next of kin.
Information about the above sites and an extensive list of Military Links can be found on the Ballarat & District Genealogical Society's website at
The list includes links to information about Ballarat's war memorials including the Avenue of Honour, the Arch of Victory and the adjacent Memorial Wall, as well as the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens which has 35 000 names in alphabetical order etched into the 130m long black granite wall. More were added recently. You won't find names for these local memorials online but a visit in person would be well worthwhile.
Jennifer Burrell: firstname.lastname@example.org