Min­is­ter urges peo­ple to seek Great War con­nec­tions

Geraldton Guardian - - REMEMBRANCE DAY -

Al­most two mil­lion peo­ple have served Aus­tralia in wars, con­flicts and on peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions over the past cen­tury and peo­ple in Ger­ald­ton and the Mid West are be­ing en­cour­aged to ask ques­tions and con­duct re­search into their own fam­i­lies’ mil­i­tary his­tory.

Min­is­ter for Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs Dar­ren Ch­ester said the An­zac Centenary pe­riod pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to talk to rel­a­tives and seek lost con­nec­tions to World War I.

“As time moves for­ward Aus­tralia con­tin­ues to lose more of the orig­i­nal liv­ing mem­o­ries of our wartime his­tory but un­cov­er­ing the story of mil­i­tary an­ces­tors is a straight­for­ward process that can yield amaz­ing results,” Mr Ch­ester said.

“Start by ask­ing your old­est rel­a­tives what they know or if any­one has let­ters, di­aries, medals or other mem­o­ra­bilia from a war, con­flict or peace­keep­ing mis­sion that could pro­vide some clues.”

He said with this in­for­ma­tion peo­ple could then search the on­line data­base of the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial, the Na­tional Ar­chives of Aus­tralia, the Na­tional Li­brary of Aus­tralia and the Com­mon­wealth War Graves Com­mis­sion, as well as lo­cal li­braries, RSL branches and his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties.

In­for­ma­tion about con­duct­ing fam­ily re­search is avail­able on the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs web­site.

His­tor­i­cal records web­site Ances­try.com is pro­vid­ing 100 hours of free ac­cess to its data­base from November 9-12 so peo­ple can track rel­a­tives through the UK Na­tional Ar­chives and the NZ Na­tional Ar­chives.

Sun­day is Re­mem­brance Day, the 100th an­niver­sary of the First World War Ar­mistice.

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