Australians in World War 1

This guide focuses on Australians serving in World War 1. It also includes some information relevant to Great Britain, other Commonwealth nations and other combatant nations. There is a section on nurses and women's war occupations.

Online cemetery records

In May 1917, the Imperial War Graves Commission (now known as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) was established by Royal Charter. It had the responsibility for identifying and maintaining war graves for British Commonwealth countries.

At the end of World War I the massive task of identifying graves and casualties began.

The Office of Australian War Graves was created in 1975. Previously, OAWG was the Anzac Agency of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

It holds responsibility for locating and maintaining Australian war graves. It also assists people to  locate graves.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has  two databases related to war casualties on their website: 

Find War Dead  and Find Cemeteries & Memorials. You can search the databases on their website 

The databases list  the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars and the 23,000 cemeteries, memorials and other locations worldwide where they are commemorated. 

The Department of Veterans' Affairs website also has information about the databases. 

 

H83.103/345 Cemetery, Gallipoli

Cemetery, Gallipoli, H83.103/345

Print resources

 Eric Dermott-Powell researched and compiled a number of books on war graves. They provide names and particulars of Australian and British servicemen buried in particular overseas war cemeteries. 

James McClelland wrote a number of books on cemetery records for Australian soldiers buried in overseas cemeteries and those who have no known grave.

For further publications, try a catalogue search under the subject World War 1914-1918 Registers of Dead

Fromelles cemeteries

Fromelles in France has a number of cemeteries containing Australian dead from the Battle of Fromelles. 

The V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial was built in the early 1920s. It is located at the approximate point where the Allied lines crossed the road.

The Australian Memorial Park opened in 1998. It is located approximately 200 metres from the V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial, on the same road in the direction of the village of Fromelles. It lies at the point where the German lines crossed the road, and has several surviving battlefield fortifications.

The Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery was completed in 2010. There are other small cemeteries in the area with burials from the battle.  Source: Wikipedia Battle of Fromelles

Headstone

 

Headstone H42366

Headstone for Gunner Tinker of the Australian Field Artillery, H42366

A Street Near You website

The A street Near You website  allows you to search across a world map to find details of individual men and women who died whilst serving in World War I. 

The site features a world map with photos of those servicemen and nurses who died in World War I. The photos are located in the person's home town or area. Click on a photo to find details including  name and rank, date of death and age at death; name and address of parents and the name of the cemetery where the serviceman or nurse  was buried. The source of the record is also given. 

You can also use the search box to type in a place name to find the details of deceased servicemen or nurses who came from that location. 

Each entry  gives a link to the War Dead database on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. 

Records are taken from -
  • Lives of the First World War - IWM's unique project enabling everyone to share their information, stories and images to compile Life Stories "on nearly 8 million men and women who served in uniform and worked on the home front".
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission - a unique online collection of the details of every serviceman or woman. Many of the locations here are extracted from what they call the 'Additional information' field, which typically contains text such as "Son of Samuel and Sarah Morley, of Derby; husband of F. M. Morley, of 113, Peel St., Ashbourne Rd., Derby.". Note that this information was collected sevral years after the end of the war and it does not necessarily represent an address that the person had lived at.
  • Imperial War Museums Collections - one of the richest collections of First World War objects and images, most notably in this context the Bond of Sacrifice Collection and the Women's War Work Collection, togther comprising images of nearly 20,000 individuals who served
  • War Memorial Register - another unique record from the Imperial War Museum, comprising records of over 78,000 memorials in the British Isles, together with listings of over one million names that appear on them.