Wednesday, 7 September 2016

WW1 Anzac medical records

From the National Archives of Australia (

Australians can now track down the medical records of relatives who returned home from World War I, thanks to a project recently completed by the National Archives of Australia.

The three-year Project Albany – to describe and ensure preservation of more than 256,000 World War I repatriation files – received government funding of $3.4 million in 2013 to mark the Anzac centenary.

Some veterans had three or more repatriation records, sometimes up to 20cm thick. However a returning soldier with no health issues or pension applications might not have a repatriation file at all.

The Archives fully digitised more than 5600 of the repatriation records, giving an insight into the problems faced by veterans when they returned home. For many, the horrors of war never ended. Some individuals’ files contain more than 500 pages of information – often revealing distressing details of their ongoing battles with illness, disfigurement and shell shock.

For returning veterans whose records haven’t already been digitised, families can request and purchase copies of their own ancestors’ files. More about repatriation files can be found at the Discovering Anzacs website (

(With thanks to the National Archives of Australia)


For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit

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