Researching your Military Ancestor

Liz Pidgeon

25 April, 2022

Diamond Creek War Memorial, YPRL collection

This Anzac Day is a time to remember our ancestors and relatives who may have served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. It is always important to seek out records and photographs in the home and among family members and to speak with senior members of the family to gather information as a starting point for your research journey.

There is also a wide range of online services that can help you find out more, including the below.

  • The National Archives of Australia’s Discovering Anzacs contains a diverse selection of government records about Australians and New Zealanders in World War 1 and the Boer War. You'll find a profile for each individual, and researchers can add further information to enhance the profile. A growing number of Australian profiles have a repatriation record also attached to the profile providing information on what happened to that person after the war.
  • Search for men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars at Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Battle to Farm: WW1 Soldier Settlement records in Victoria is a project out of the Public Records Office Victoria.
  • National Archives of Australia looks after over one million records documenting the service of men and women during World War 2. Records are being progressively digitised and added to RecordSearch.
  • Historical newspapers (and other categories) via Trove may uncover references and further information, especially for your World War 1 ancestors.
  • The Royal Australian Historical Society’s Researching Soldiers in Your Local Community guides historians of all ages wishing to know more about the history of their local area.
  • Ancestry, Find My Past and British Newspapers Archive can all be accessed in the library. Access Gale Primary Sources for more British Newspapers including The Times 1785–2019.
  • View the Military category on Ancestry for collections for New Zealand, USA, UK , Canada, France and more. Search the Armed Forces & Conflict Category on Find my Past.
  • Search the catalogue for histories, biographies and reminiscences which will add context to your research.

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