Minister urges people to seek Great War connections
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.