Civilian service in World War II

Proof of service for the Civilian Service Medal 1939–45

The Civilian Service Medal 1939–45 is available to those who served in a civilian organisation, were required to work in arduous circumstances, and were subjected to military style arrangements and conditions of service. To be eligible for the award of a medal an applicant must have had at least 180 days service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 with one of the organisations listed below.

Women's agricultural groups

  • Australian Women's Land Army (AWLA) and the Tasmanian Land Army (TLA)
  • Country Women's Association (CWA) – Land Girls Section – Vic and WA
  • Women's Agricultural Security Production Service (WASPS)
  • Women's Australian National Service (WANS) – Land Section – NSW and WA
  • Women's Auxiliary Transport Service (WATS) – Land Section
  • Women's War Service Council (WWSC) – Land Section – SA

Service only qualifies if performed at a place which was not the person's normal place of residence.

Medical aids

  • Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) – except those who went on to serve in the Army
  • Red Cross Aids

War works

  • Civil Constructional Corps (CCC)
  • Allied Works Council (AWC) – only for service at sites of war works
  • Civil Alien Corps (CAC)
  • State Department of Main Roads – only for war works service for the AWC
  • Works and Services Branch, Department of the Interior – only for war works service

Airfield ground staff

  • Department of Civil Aviation (DCA)
  • Australian Civil Airlines and Aviation Support (includes QANTAS Empire Airways Limited)

Other eligible organisations

  • North Australia Railway (NAR) 
  • Drysdale River (Kalumburu, Western Australia) Mission
  • North Australia Observer Unit (NAOU) – only for civilian guides

Applying for the award

Awarding of the medal is administered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The address for applications is:

Awards and Culture Branch
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 
PO BOX 6500 
Canberra ACT 2600 
Tel: (02) 6271 5620, Fax: (02) 6271 5662

For more on eligibility, visit It's An Honour.

Relevant civilian service records in the National Archives

The National Archives may hold records that will assist you in verifying your service and establishing your eligibility for the Civilian Service Medal.

Organisations for which we hold personnel records are listed in the table following, with an indication of the National Archives office in which they are located. In general the office named will only hold records relating to the region referred to below. As there are exceptions to this rule, you may find that an inquiry to the office(s) holding records for your organisation, even if not located in the State/Territory where you saw service, may prove successful.

Civilian Service organisations for which personnel records are held



National Archives office

Australian Women's Land Army



Country Women's Association

NSW, Vic

Canberra, Sydney 

Civil Constructional Corps

NSW, Vic, Qld, WA

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth

Allied Works Council


Mainly held in Melbourne

Civil Alien Corps

Vic, SA, WA

Sydney, Melbourne, Perth

Works and Services Branch

NSW, Vic, WA, SA, NT

Sydney, Melbourne, Perth

Department of Civil Aviation

NSW, Vic, WA, NT

Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin

QANTAS Empire Airways Ltd


Canberra (only for those who went on to serve with QANTAS into the 1950s)

North Australia Railway

NSW, Vic, SA

Sydney, Melbourne

No personnel records are held for the following organisations, although some administrative records, which may include information that will assist in establishing eligibilty (such as lists of employees engaged in particular locations or on particular projects), are held by the offices indicated.

Civilian service organisations for which administrative records only are held



National Archives office

Women's Agricultural Security Production Service



Women's Australian National Service



Red Cross Aids



North Australia Observer Unit

Vic, SA

Melbourne, Adelaide

Drysdale River Mission


Canberra, Melbourne, Perth

The National Archives holds no relevant records on the Tasmanian Land Army, the Women's Auxiliary Transport Service, the Women's War Service Council or State Department of Main Roads.

Access to the records

In order to obtain access to the records you should contact the National Archives office shown as holding relevant records.