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.

Photographs & posters

Photographs can give a real sense of a soldier's life during the War. Often soldiers won't be identified by name but by searching for places or events, you can find photographs reflecting a soldier's activities at a particular place and time.

For instance, here is a photo of Australian signallers at Tel-el-Kebir in Egypt moving gifts sent by the Australian Comforts Fund. (Click on View Online to see the photo).

Here's another image showing an Australian soldiers' football match at Gourdine in Belgium.

Newspapers & magazines

Photographs of soldiers in newspapers such as the Weekly Times and the Leader are indexed in the Illustrations index and the Biography index.

These indexes are held in the La Trobe Reading Room at the Library and are not available online.

Illustrated war magazines include many photographs.

Anzac despatch rider at Gallopoli, Illustrated war news, 29 Dec 1915, part 73.

Pictures Collection

The Library has digitised many images from our Pictures Collection.

Try the Library Catalogue using a keyword search for the terms war 1914 and the Pictures tab.

For instance, try the search war 1914 light horse.

You could try similar searches using keywords relating to places and battles, regiments etc. Just make sure to narrow it to the Pictures Collection, as per the example above.

For instance, here are results for searches within the Pictures Collection for Gallipoli.

There are a number of collections from individuals including 

Posters

Many war posters have been digitised by the Library.

Shirley Jones collection of military postcards

The Shirley Jones collection of military postcards contains postcards from the First World War. Many include messages from soldiers.

They have been digitised and can be searched in the catalogue under the collection name. Include the terms war 1914 to narrow the search.

Books

There are a range of pictorial books with excellent images of the War. Try this subject search: World War 1914-1918 Pictorial Works.

 

Illustrated war news, 21 Jun 1916, page 28

 

Other online images

The Australian War Memorial houses a large image collection. Many of these images are catalogued but not yet digitised.

To search image holdings across Australian libraries, try a search on Trove. Use the phrase 'World War 1914-1918' and then add further keywords. For instance, these are the results for the search World War 1914-1918 Beersheba

Photographs from both the State Library of Victoria and the Australian War Memorial are included in Trove.

A selection of images from magazines of the time can be viewed on the Pandora archive.

There are many sites on the Internet that reproduce images from the War.

Type 'World war one images' into a search engine. Many large sites will be retrieved. Add more terms to your narrow your search.

Photos of Victorian soldiers

The World War I Pictorial Honour Rolls of Australians website includes photos of soldiers provided by family members, the Education Department, the Australian War Memorial and other sources.

Each entry gives service details and biographical information about the soldier. There is a link to interstate pictorial honour rolls.