Researching Family History

The Shrine of Remembrance does not hold individual service records for members of the Armed Forces, our limited archives do not focus on individual people or duplicate the work of other archives. The links below are for recommended websites where you can access service records via online collections to begin your research journey.

Within the Shrine Galleries, the Research Centre is open every day from 10am until 4.30pm, providing online access to online resources such as those listed below. Bookings are not required.

Please note that word processing and printers are not available in the Research Centre. USB devices cannot be used, to maintain safety of the computer network.

Members of staff and Volunteers can assist with general enquiries, however the Shrine is not resourced to allocate a member of staff to conduct research on your behalf.

National Archives of Australia (NAA): Researching war service
The NAA holds the original war service records of individuals. Digitally scanned copies can be viewed online free of charge, and remaining documents can be requested for a small fee.
Visit the National Archives of Australia

Department of Veterans Affairs: Nominal Rolls
These nominal rolls list members of Australia's defence forces who served during different conflicts.
Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs

Australian War Memorial: Search for a person
A broad search tool to find records and material related to an individual.
Visit the Australian War Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Known war grave locations for Commonwealth forces in the First and Second World Wars.
Visit the Commonwealth Graves Commission

Genealogical Society of Victoria
A society providing expert advice and access to research tools to promote family history education. Memberships are required at a cost.
Visit the Genealogical Society of Victoria

The Defence Honours and Awards webpage from the Department of Defence is an excellent source of information for the Australian and Imperial honours and awards systems from the Boer War to present day. It will help you identify medals in your possession. First and Second World War medals are listed under the Imperial Awards heading.

If you believe a relative was not issued Service Awards (medals) you may lodge a claim through the Department of Defence.

Replica medals can be purchased by anybody and worn on special ceremonial days like ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day in recognition of another’s military service. These can be purchased from the Shrine Shop as loose medals with ribbon.

Currently serving and ex-service personnel wear their own medals on the left side of their chest above the heart. Medals awarded to another person are worn on the right side of the chest.

The Shrine Shop stocks books that can assist with research projects and best practice when caring for memorabilia.
Digging for Diggers is an illustrated explanation of the process for researching the military history of a First World War Australian ‘Digger’.

Caring for your Wartime Memorabilia by the Department of Veterans Affairs introduces the basic concepts of handling and proper storage for the ephemera in your collection.