Army – First World War: 1914–18

The National Archives holds records of Australian servicemen and women from the First World War.

Find service records for the following groups:

  • First Australian Imperial Force (1st AIF)
  • Australian Flying Corps (AFC) – predecessor of the Royal Australian Air Force
  • Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) – combined force sent to German New Guinea in August 1914
  • Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train (RANBT) – helped the landing of men and equipment from Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels
  • Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS)
  • Home or Depot units for people who served within Australia
  • non-combatants such as artists, photographers, chaplains and historians

Rejected enlistments

These are records for those individuals who applied to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force, and were either rejected, discharged while still in training, or went on to serve within Australia only, usually as depot troops or camp guards.

Images of servicemen

Our collection includes about 500 digital images of Australian First World War servicemen.

What's in First World War service records?

World War I service records usually include:

  • an attestation paper – completed on enlistment, listing next-of-kin, employment, marital status, age, place of birth and a physical description
  • a service and casualty form – 'Form B103', showing movements and transfers between units, promotions and details of injuries and treatment
  • military correspondence – between the Department of Defence and the soldier's next-of-kin notifying of wounds or death, awards and medals and asking questions on the whereabouts of a service member

They don't contain:

  • detailed information about a person's involvement in actions and battles
  • day-by-day accounts of life in the services

Find and view a First World War service record online

All First World War (WW1) service records can be viewed digitally on RecordSearch.


To find a person's service records on RecordSearch, click on the NameSearch tab.

View an original record

To view a WW1 service record in the National Archives Research Centre in Canberra, please submit a request to view records before you visit the research centre. Requests can take up to five business days to process.

For more information, visit one of our research centres or ask us a question.


Service records, particularly those of the WW1 Australian Imperial Force, may include reference to service medals.

However, service records may not include information about which service medals a person was entitled to, or if they were ever issued.

Defence Honours and Awards can help with such enquiries.

Medals are generally only 'reissued' to a service person or their next-of-kin if the medal has never been issued.

You can buy copies of medals that have been issued from medal makers. Look for medal makers in your local Yellow Pages, or online, under 'Medals'.