My first visit is always to the National Archives of Australia website, which provides a myriad of useful information. The enlistment papers show the full name, service number, age, parent/s, place of birth, residence, religion, occupation and most importantly to me, a physical description and signature, which are often not available elsewhere. You will also find service records, medical history, any medals received and sometimes a photo.
Read everything carefully as you never know what you will find. The letter below led me on a new direction of research. You will note that the letter is signed by Amy Richardson, giving permission for her son, Roy Weir, to enlist.
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9th July 1915
I Amy Richardson being the mother of Roy Weir do hereby consent to his volunteering for active service with the Australian Imperial Forces.
I certify that my father is dead and that above is my mothers signature
It was this letter that led me to discover that Amy had married John Richardson after the death of her husband, James Weir. In records in the following year, she was signing "Amy Weir" again. Why? It turned out that John Richardson was already married when he married Amy so the marriage was soon annulled! I wouldn't have discovered this, except for the above letter.
The sister site, Mapping Our Anzacs, allows you to add photos and tributes to your ancestors, once you have created an account.
The Australian War Memorial website is also a great source of information; too much for me to mention here. The search function is excellent but you really need to browse all the tabs and menus to get the most out of the website as there is so much available.
The letters below, which were located on the Australian War Memorial website, told me more about the death of my Great Grand Uncle, Henry "Harry" Mottram.
" He was a fine soldier and never knew what fear was"
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The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website provides information on those who died in battle and where they are buried, including grave/memorial reference. There are also details and photos of the cemeteries and maps showing the layout, to make it easier should you plan to visit. It also provides the ability to print a commemorative certificate for your records, which often includes the name of parents and residence.
|Search result from www.cwgc.org|
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Certificates for World War 2 service can be printed at the World War 2 Nominal Roll website.
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ANZACS online is "an online military museum which displays photographs, diaries and letters, relating to the many Australians who served in the Australian Infantry Force during WWI".
I urge people to submit copies of their photos and memorabilia to ANZACS online so your ancestors can be remembered and to help other family members who may be researching them.
There are so many great websites for researching your ancestors who served in the Defense Force. I have listed that sites the I have bookmarked. Have fun and Happy hunting!
AIF Project - http://www.aif.adfa.edu.au:8888/index.html
ANZACS Online - http://anzacsonline.net.au/
Australian Government Military History - http://australia.gov.au/
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/fhu/military.html
Australian War Graves - http://www.australianwargraves.org/home/w1/i2/
Australian War Memorial - http://www.awm.gov.au/
Commonwealth War Graves Commission - http://www.cwgc.org/
Defence Honours and Awards - http://www.defence.gov.au/MEDALS/
Department of Veteran Affairs - http://www.dva.gov.au/commems_oawg/nominal_rolls/Pages/index.aspx?
Don't forget the Diggers - http://www.dontforgetthediggers.com.au/photo_archive.asp
Flotilla Australia (war ships) - http://www.flotilla-australia.com/hmat2.htm
National Archives of Australia - http://www.naa.gov.au/
Mapping our ANZACS - http://mappingouranzacs.naa.gov.au
War Memorial records search - http://australia.gov.au/
World War 2 Nominal Roll - http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/
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