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.
The resources listed on this page relate manily to decorations awarded to Australian soldiers. Many of the decorations are listed below. They were Imperial honours usually awarded to members of the British Commonwealth.
As a start, go to the Australian War Memorial website and click on Search, This brings up another search box: type Honours and awards in the search box. Select from the options given.
Formerly named the Conspicuous Service Cross, it was renamed the Distinguished Service Cross in October 1914. Awarded to naval officers (commissioned and warrant) below the rank of Lieutenant Commander for gallantry during active operations against the enemy.
Instituted 1883. The First Class - Royal Red Cross was awarded to fully-trained nurses who were part of the officially recognised nursing services. Awarded for exceptional devotion or competency in nursing duties in the field or military hospitals over a long or continuous period or for an exceptional act of bravery or devotion to duty.
Source: Maton volumes listed above.
King George V inspects Australian troops, probably on Salisbury Plain, England,
The War pictorial, June 1917, page 2
If you know the name of the person who was awarded a British medal, it is quickest to search the books by Michael Maton Gallantry and distinguished service awards to the Australian Army during the First World War / Michael Maton
See listings of other books by Michael Maton on the State Library catalogue.
You can search the Commonwealth Gazette on the Trove website under the heading Government Gazettes. If you want to read through a particular issue or issues, click on Browse articles by Place / National / C. Click on Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 1901-1973. This lets you browse by date of publication.
If you are looking for lists of persons awarded a particular British medal, you can search the government gazettes by the name of the medal, for example a search using the words Distinguished conduct medal brings up a page from the gazette of 14 February 1918, Issue no. 19, page 284. Copy and paste the following link to see the page:
You can search the gazettes for listings of non-British medals awarded to Australians by allied countries. Countries which awarded medals to Australians include France, Belgium, Serbia and Russia. It can be difficult to know which section of the gazette to find relevant notices. One way to search is to do a keyword search in the main search box on the Government Gazettes page on Trove. Examples of search terms are:
Belgian government medal
French government medal
Serbian government medal
Russian government medal
If you have the name of a non-British medal awarded to Australians by an allied country, you can search the gazettes on Trove using keywords of the name of the medal followed by the name of the country issuing the medal.
For example, to find awards of the Order of the White Eagle, a Serbian decoration, search the gazettes using the keywords
white eagle Serbia
For the Order of St. Anne, a Russian decoration, search using the keywords
order st. Anne Russia
This gives you lists of the names of those awarded the decoration. The awards may be listed in different issues. These awards were not necessarily awarded to Australians enlisted in the Australian armed forces. They may have enlisted in the forces of the country which awarded the medal.
You can also search the London Gazette, which listed both British and non-British awards before they were published in the Commonweatlh Gazette. See the London Gazette section on this page.
Note that the awards may appear under different headings in different issues of the gazette. The Gazette also has an index.
Just another pair of socks is a website listing honours and awards given to Melton district Anzacs. It was produced by the Melton Family History Group.
In line with the stage 3 restrictions announced by the Premier, State Library Victoria closed on Thursday 9 July.
We will advise when there is any update to this situation.
Our Ask A Librarian reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.