Unlock The Past will be at

Unlock the Past Cruises

Researching your ancestors in the armed services

Event Information

  • 17 Aug 2011 10:00am - 11:30am
  • Genealogical Society of Northern Territory, 1st Floor, 25 Cavenagh Street
  • Darwin
  • Northern Territory
Other Information

Outline of the session by Peter Thomas:

During 1914~1918, 360,000 Australians enlisted, out of a population of less than 5 million.

During 1939~1945, more than a million enlisted out of a population of less than seven million.

So, if your ancestors were of "military age" (18~50) at the relevant time, they may have attempted to enlist. The National Archives contains accessible data relating to:


  • Those who unsuccessfully attempted to enlist
  • Those who actually did enlist
  • A variety of other resources, not altogether obvious to the non-military mind

 We will also look at: 

  • the resources made available by the Australian War Memorial;
  • and published materials, including newspapers, and unit histories;
  • We will touch on letters and diaries.