For our Expert Q&A on Thursday, 7 November we had the team from the Australian War Memorial Research Centre join us to answer your questions about the AWM collections and how to find your Anzac ancestor. Thanks again to Jennie, Dianne, Cameron and Liz for giving us all the benefit of their time and expertise.
Don’t forget our Expert Q&As happen every Thursday night on the Inside History Magazine facebook page.
When: NSW – ACT – VIC – TAS: 8:30-9:30pm AEDT | QLD: 7:30-8:30pm | WA: 5:30-6:30pm | NT: 7:00-8:00pm | SA: 8:00-9:00pm | Weekly on Thursdays nights!
Please find the transcript of the Q&A and links below.
Summary of links from the Q&A:
- Anzacs Online: click here
- Australian Army: Unrecovered War Casualties :: click here
- AWM: Boy Soldiers on the Roll of Honour :: click here
- AWM: Collection search :: click here
- AWM: Donations :: click here
- AWM Fact sheet: Campaign and service medals :: click here
- AWM Fact sheet: Prisoners of war, WWII – Prisoners of the Japanese, Borneo (Sandakan) :: click here
- AWM: Research centre :: click here
- AWM: Roll of Honour search :: click here
- AWM: War Diaries :: click here
- AWM: WWI Cententary :: click here
- British Library: click here
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission: click here
- Don’t Forget the Diggers: click here
- Grave Secrets: click here
- Library and Archives Canada: click here
- Lost Medals Australia: click here
- Mapping our Anzacs: click here
- Mapping our Anzacs: News and updates :: click here
- McMaster University: WWI Maps & Aerial Photography :: click here
- Medals Gone Missing: click here
- NAA: Collection search :: click here
- NAA: Service records :: click here
- NAA Fact sheet: Navy service records :: click here
- NAA Fact sheet: PhotoSearch :: click here
- NAA Fact sheet: Universal military training in Australia, 1911-1929 :: click here
- NAA Fact sheet: World War II war crimes fact sheet :: click here
- Queensland War Memorial Register: click here
- State Library of QLD: Picture Queensland :: click here
- State Records of NSW: Archives Investigator :: click here
- The War Graves Photographic Project: click here
Transcript of Expert Q&A – Australian War Memorial
Our Expert Q&A with the Australian War Memorial Research Centre starts in 30 minutes at 8:30pm AEDT. Join us with your questions about how to find your Anzac ancestor or the Australian War Memorial collections.
Please ask your questions in a comment below, and Jennie, Dianne, Cameron or Liz will answer in a comment or reply. Questions asked before the session will be copied onto this post, so our experts can answer them here in one place.
Comment: IHM: Thanks for joining us tonight! Please join me in welcoming Cameron, Dianne, Jennie and Liz from the Australian War Memorial!
A. IHM: Tip :: Keep refreshing your browser to see the answers as they appear and remember to look through the entire list of comments, as Facebook will order your questions and answers out of sequence.
A. IHM: Details for the Australian War Memorial Research Centre :: https://www.awm.gov.au/research
A. Marjorie: Many thanks Jennie, AWM and Inside History.
A. IHM: You’re welcome Marjorie, thanks for joining tonight :)
Q. From Farmer Dolly: Is there any way to pinpoint where a soldier died except for the general area?
A. AWM: @Farmer Dolly. Depending on the conflict in which the soldier was killed there are different resources available. For all conflicts the first stage would be to check the soldier’s personal service record through the National Archives of Australia. You can find information on how to access these records online at http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/explore/defence/service-records/. The Unit war diaries will also be of assistance in locating where a soldier was killed. The Research Centre has digitised Army War Diaries from the First World War, Second World War, Korean War and South East Asian conflicts. While on active service army headquarters, formations, and units are required to keep war diaries recording their daily activities. Please note that not all war diaries held by the Memorial are available online. You can find the digitised diaries on the Memorial’s website at http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/war_diaries/. The remaining diaries may be viewed in the Reading Room of the Memorial’s Research Centre. Cameron
A. IHM: The #WW1 war diaries in your collection is one of the most moving and valuable military history resources that Australia has.
Q. From Chris: I am wondering if you can point me in the direction of any literature on the history of honour boards and rolls of honour? Thanks. Chris.
A. AWM: @ Chris – one book that might be of help is Sacred places : war memorials in the Australian landscape / Ken Inglis. Assisted by Jan Brazier. This is mostly about Memorials but includes some information about Honour Boards. Dianne
A. Chris: Thanks for that info.
A. IHM: Here’s where you find “Sacred places : war memorials in the Australian landscape / K.S. Inglis” at your local library :: http://ow.ly/qzOqc
A. Chris: Is there an equivalent of Inglis for Canada and UK?
A. AWM: @ Chris – we are not aware of one, but it may be worth checking the British Library or Canadian National library catalogues. Liz
A. IHM: Here’s the links for the The British Library :: http://www.bl.uk and Library and Archives Canada :: http://ow.ly/qzSjx
Q. From Anne: Were there ever any photos taken of the WW1 servicemen, like were done for the WW2 servicemen and if so where are they located, because I haven’t come across any.
A. AWM: @ Anne, I have checked the back end of our collection system to double check if we do have the medals of 2731 Eugene Sullivan as not all medals are online yet and I have not been able to find any reference to us having them so I can confirm they were not donated here. Sometimes people confuse us with RSL museums, which sometimes have the word ‘Memorial’ in their title. Other options are historical societies or regional / local museums. – Dianne
Q. From Marjorie: I have been searching for a photograph of the Cairns Aquatic Club’s Honour Board for WWI. The Board has been lost. Can you point me in a possible direction, please?
A. AWM: Hi Marjorie, unfortunately the Memorial does not hold much information or photographs of honour boards in local communities. I would suggest having a look at Picture Queensland, http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/resources/picture-queensland, includes historical and contemporary images from across the state. Another option would be to see if there are any articles about the honour board in local newspapers that could include a photograph. Trove could be an option for searching for articles, I just found this one that may be of interest http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40243072. Jennie
A. IHM: The good people behind the Queensland War Memorial Register may be able to help :: http://ow.ly/qzQyw
A. Ros: Have you tried Trove there may have been a photo published in the Northern Herald and advertised in the Cairns Post. Alas the Northern Herald is not on Trove yet but it has been microfilmed. I’d look for you but it’s much more fun it you find it yourself :)
A. Marjorie: Thanks guys.
A. Marjorie: Ros, I have tried Trove, the Cairns Post (post 1954) and the Northern Herald (on micro-fiche). I will keep trying. Someone, somewhere has to have a photo. The original Board was stored under the Club and goodness knows how many years of tides washed over it. Then a Commodore found it and put it aside with the intention of repairing it. Before he could however, it disappeared, taking the names of all the soldiers who enlisted while members of the Club. I’ve researched for years to find the names of the boys and have been successful in establishing the names of about 50 of them. As you can imagine the task is gigantic. 300,000 men enlisted. I’m trying to find which 73 of them were members of the Club – not all of them were from Cairns or even Australia. They were, however, paid up members of the Club. I located a Membership book that listed about 20 of them, which was great, except that one guy listed had originally enlisted under another name. The rest I’ve located by trawling through the local papers, page by page, year by year – looking for references to the Club and serving members. So, yes, I’ve tried and had a lot of fun and frustration along the way. All I really need is a photo of the Honour Board and then I’d be in 7th Heaven. I have an online museum called Lost Cairns. You can find some of the photos and stories of some of the boys I’ve verified on there. Cheers