ANZACS in World War I
Anzac is the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula in modern-day Turkey on 25 April 1915. The Gallipoli campaign has been described as the moment of birth of nationhood for both Australia and New Zealand. The Anzac spirit which has survived Gallipoli included the ideals of mateship, endurance, courage, ingenuity and a larrikin sense of humour.
Railway Employees join the AIF
Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914. Australia, along with the other members of the British Empire, were automatically involved in the war. Recruiting offices opened around Australia on 10 August 1914 and by the end of the year over 52,000 volunteers had been accepted into the Australian Imperial Force, or AIF. Many industries and companies faced the prospect of losing male employees to military service and the Railways was no different. This excerpt is from the Register of Deaths of the Railways Services Superannuation Board (R351/1/). Included on the page are thirteen men who are listed as dying in the conflict at the Dardanelles. This list was used to extract both probate packets and railway personal history cards to demonstrate some of the documents commonly found in the probate packets of soldiers who died in World War I.
Charles Alfred Turner: #2473, Driver, 1 Reinforcements 2nd Remount Unit
John Riley: #2221, Private, 3rd Battalion (Infantry)
Other Railway personal history cards
- NRS 15070 Annual Reports Railways - includes printed lists of railway personnel killed during WWI for years 1915-18
- NSW Government Railways and Tramways Roll of Honour, 1914-19
- Nominal Roll of the First Railway Section (AIF), 1917-20
- Railway Supply Detachment
WWI Service records
Australian War Memorial - Search for a person
The AWM allows you to name search for people in a variety of conflicts, including WWI.
National Archives of Australia - Search the collection
War service records are digitised and available to name search.
From the trenches of Gallipoli
To commemorate Anzac Day in 2011 two probate packets of soldiers who died at Gallipoli - Thomas Bann and Jacob Allan were selected to show some of the more personal and interesting record items that can be found. These probate packets are the exception rather than the norm and many soldiers died without leaving a will or probate.
Jacob Allan: #869, 15th Battalion (Infantry), died 1915 at Gallipoli
Thomas Bann: #678, 4th Battalion (Infantry), died 1915 at Gallipoli
Herbert Moran: Royal Army Medical Corps
For more details about Herbert Moran's life see Australian Dictionary of Biography.