Army – Boer War: 1899–1902

The Boer War was fought between 1899 and 1902 and spans the pre- and post-Federation period. Therefore, records may be held by state government archives or by the National Archives.

As a general guide, colonial period records are held in state government archives and post-Federation records are held by the National Archives, although there may be exceptions to this.

National Boer War service records

A selection of national records held is listed in the table below.

General Boer War service records

* Main record of service

New South Wales contingents records

The following table lists a selection of records relating to New South Wales contingents.

New South Wales contingent records

Queensland contingents records

The following table lists a selection of records relating to Queensland contingents.

Queensland contingent records

South Australian and Western Australian contingents records

The following table lists a selection of records relating to South Australian and Western Australian contingents.

SA and WA contingent records

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesAttestation declarations for the fifth South Australian contingent1901AP613/7
SeriesAlphabetical roll of Western Australian contingents1900–03B5165

What's in a Boer War dossier?

The Boer War dossiers (series B4418) consist of an attestation form relating to individual servicemen who enlisted to serve in the Boer War during 1901 and 1902 (that is, after Federation).

Personal information recorded on an attestation form includes place of birth, age, nationality, occupation, marital status, next of kin, previous service in South Africa (where applicable), address, religion, height and chest measurements, complexion, eye and hair colour, distinctive marks, and, in some cases, weight.

Find and view a Boer War dossier online

  1. Go to NameSearch.
  2. Enter the family name of the service person – make sure it is the name used at enlistment.
  3. Select ‘Boer War’ from the dropdown menu.
  4. Search.
  5. Display the results of your search. If there are too many, you can refine this search result, and then enter the person’s given names and/or service number.
  6. Use the link to ‘View digital copy’. You can also print a copy of the record.

Purchase a colour print copy

All Boer War dossiers in series B4418 have been digitised and are available to view online and print from NameSearch.

If you would like to purchase a colour print copy:

  • first locate the item using NameSearch (see above)
  • use the ‘Request copy’ button
  • complete your order using our secure eCommerce facility. Copying charges will apply.

View an original record

If you would like to view a Boer War dossier in the Melbourne reading room of the National Archives, please submit an advance request to view records form or contact the Melbourne office.

Further information

You will find more records listed in:

Other useful fact sheets include:

It is also worth checking the Boer War nominal roll held by the Australian War Memorial.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2014