Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Second World War Australian military records on Ancestry

Ancestry ( has added a new military collection sourced from the National Archives of Australia, which may be of interest to those with Australian connections.

From the site:

Australia, World War II Military Service Records, 1939-1945

This unique collection includes service records for Australians who served in the Second World War in the following units:
  • Australian Army
  • Royal Australian Navy (RAN)
  • Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)

What You Can Find in the Records
Defence service records set out the essentials of a person’s service in the forces and were used to administer the movements and pay of their personnel. They were not intended to be an everyday account of events in a serviceperson's career. However, they do commonly contain biographical information supplied on enlistment, as well as important details on a person's service. Although most records contain the same basic elements, they do vary in the amount of information they contain. The records included in this collection will typically provide the following information:
  • full name
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • service number
  • marital status
  • religion
  • previous employment / trade details
  • next-of-kin details
  • place and date of enlistment and initial unit posting
  • prior military service
  • movements and transfers between units (including names of troop ships)
  • promotions and awarding of important decorations and medals
  • details of illnesses and injuries, and treatment received
  • when and where a soldier was killed, and basic burial details

Locating the Service Dossiers: Additional details about a person's military service can be found in the original records. While the index is accessible from, the images of these records are not available in this database. Copies of the original images may be found on If the original records are not available, they can be requested from the National Archives of Australia. (See


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