Tracing your army ancestors

Fowler, Simon.  Tracing your army ancestors / Simon Fowler  Pen & Sword Military Barnsley, England  2006.
Call number: RX 929.1072 F788


For help with locating records and information on Australians who served in the First World War see also our First World War research guide page on Finding a soldier.

Finding the family redcoat

Finding the family redcoat : tracing your British military ancestors in Australia / Lieutenant Colonel Neil C. Smith, AM  Unlock the Past St Agnes, SA  2013


The following publications are held in our reference collection:

Digging for diggers: a guide to researching an Australian soldier of the Great War, 1914-1918
Call number:
RX 929.1072 H826

That elusive digger: tracing your Australian military ancestors
Call number:
RX 940.394 S655

Departing troops walking with their families down Macquarie Street, Sydney, 1914
Departing troops walking with their families down Macquarie Street, Sydney, 1914, nla.obj-162908974


Ancestry (Library edition)

Visit the eResources portal, click the Browse eResources tab and search for 'ancestry'.

The Library's subscription to Ancestry currently includes the following Australian-related 'Military' resources via its online database.

  • Australia's Fighting Sons of The Empire. Portraits and Biographies of Australians in the Great War
  • New South Wales, Australia, Cowra Military Camps Personnel Photo Index, 1905-1970
  • ANZAC Memorial, 1914-1918
  • Australia, WWI Service Records, 1914-1920

Findmypast (World edition)

Visit the eResources portal, click the Browse eResources tab and search for 'findmypast'.

Currently, Findmypast has the following Australian -related 'Armed Forces & Conflict' records available:

  • Australian Imperial Force Nominal Roll 1914 - 1918
  • Australasian Imperial Expeditionary Forces Roll Of Honour
  • Australian Imperial Force Embarkation Roll 1914-1918
  • All Australia Memorial
  • Australia’s Fighting Sons of the Empire (NSW – QLD)
  • Australian Contingent
  • Australian Contingents to South Africa
  • British Garrison deserters in South Australia
  • Education Department War Service
  • New South Wales Roll Of Honour
  • New Zealand Boer War servicemen
  • New Zealand Division
  • New Zealand War Medal Roll
  • New Zealand Wars: Maori Campaigns
  • New Zealand World War 1 Soldiers
  • New Zealanders and The Boer War
  • Queenslanders Who Fought in Great War
  • British Army Service Records 1760 – 1915

Selected Websites

There are a number of other useful websites for locating military records and other information about Australians who served in military conflicts and records of British soldiers in Australia in the early days of settlement. The following are a small selection:

Pre-World War 1

World War 1

World War 2

Korean War


Networked resources in the Library

In addition to our subscription databases, the Library also provides access to the CDROM resources:

Microfilmed and other published material

The following microfilmed products and published works are available on open access in the Newspapers and Microforms Reading Room:

The soldier and his child

Smith, Fred T., Composer.
The soldier and his child [music]
1915 - 1918 (7 pages)


The Australian War Memorial provides biographical databases such as nominal commemorative and honour rolls, honours and awards, Australian Army war diaries, wounded missing and prisoner of war files and general information about Australian involvement in overseas conflict and peacekeeping.

War on the Veldt

War on the Veldt : tracing your Australian military ancestors in the Boer War 1899-1902 / Neil C. King Smith  Unlock the Past St Agnes, SA  2014
Call number: RX 929.1072 S655


The Department of Veterans' Affairs publishes nominal rolls covering conflicts in which Australia has participated since Federation. These nominal rolls list members of Australia's defence forces who served during a particular conflict.


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Debt of honour register lists details of men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars and Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action in the Second World War.

Not sure where to start?