As mentioned in another thread by Spidge, besides CWGC records here in Australia we have some great resources provided by the Australian War Memorial (AWM). For those who died while serving in an Australian uniform there is a Roll of Honour (ROH) and for those Aussies who were wearing a British (or Canadian, or NZ, or US or whatever) uniform there is the Commemorative Roll (CRoll). This also includes those Australians who died while working for organizations like the Red Cross & Salvation Army alongside military units.
We also have access to a lot of official records via the National Archives of Australia (NAA). Plus a nominal roll is maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) showing details of all who served in Australian forces in WW2.
All of these organizations are very approachable and helpful (wait time is variable depending on what you are asking for). There are a couple of idiosyncrasies; for example the unit (at time of death or discharge) shown on the DVA nominal roll is pretty well set in concrete. When it was created they used information as provided by the Defence Department and as such they don’t want to keep amending it. I have had data in just about every other field modified from evidence I have supplied, but they won’t budge on the unit detail.
The online ROH is very tightly controlled as it is a virtual representation of information that appears on the actual wall of honour found at the AWM. They are willing to change information following solid evidence (and their own research) but there is often a delay as they have to get around to taking panels down and getting them corrected or re-cast.
The CRoll is another story as it was created following an Australia-wide appeal in the 1980s and some of the info is dubious. Some of the connections to Australia are very tenuous, however, the rule is that once on the roll names won’t be removed. I have at least one bloke on there that survived the war and was still running his company into the 1980s.
Conversely, if the AWM are approached regarding a new inclusion to the CRoll it takes a heck of a lot of information to sway them to add a name.
The NAA will tidy up file header detail on their website for records they hold, as long it is an obvious typo or where the header contradicts information found on the actual file. I have had a couple of wins adding comments to a file description where information needed to make sense of the contents was not otherwise found on the file.
As much as is humanly possible I have been trying to make sure that all of the casualty records match up for RAAF personnel.
First off is a couple of bits of info for AC1 Tonkin RAAF 20540 who was recently notified as being added to the CWGC.
I obtained some newspaper extracts from the time that described the circumstances of his death and his final resting place.
An oddity was that he was buried in Sydney but was on the posted strength of a Melbourne training unit (explained in the article).
Edited by DaveB, 14 August 2011 - 12:27 PM.