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Memento : Issue 19
18 memento january 2002 The personnel records of 1.4 million Australian women and men who served in the armed forces in World War II are gradually making their way to the National Archives. This historic transfer of records is the result of a landmark agreement between the National Archives, the Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans' Affairs. As many of you know, we already hold the personnel records of those who served in World War I. Over the next 12 months, they will be joined by the war service records of all those who served in World War II, in the Army, Air Force and Navy. The Army and Air Force records include enlistment papers, records of service, discharge information, and information about the issue of medals. The Navy records consist of cards, which provide a summary of the wartime experience of servicemen and women. Initially we will enter brief descriptions into our RecordSearch database, so you will be able to search by name, service number, next of kin, place of enlistment and place of birth. After the records have come into our custody they can be viewed in our Canberra reading room or photocopies can be purchased. Digital copies of the records can also be made available on our website. To arrange access, contact us on 1300 886 881 or email@example.com. The campaign for the transfer of World War II service personnel records has just begun, but over time all will be listed and accounted for at the National Archives. In the International Year of Volunteers last year, we were lucky to have the help of a band of volunteers from the Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra. In a joint project, HAGSOC volunteers helped us to continue the much needed task of rehousing and listing our collection of World War I personnel service records, estimated at over 420,000 dossiers. After volunteers have rehoused the dossiers, details recorded on the wallets are added to our database RecordSearch. By November 2001, our volunteers had processed more than 1100 boxes, or over 23,380 individual dossiers. We are now up to dossiers with the surname Hawke. Thanks to the volunteers, we can now claim a total of 203,023 names of World War I servicemen and women listed on RecordSearch. By rehousing the dossiers in acid-free wallets the volunteers have also helped to ensure that the original records will be preserved for our future generations. To all involved in this project, many thanks for your helping hands! The long march has begun Volunteers for WWI service defence service records WORLD WAR II WORLD WAR II Volunteers from the Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra who helped rehouse and list our World War I personnel records. From left to right: George McLean, Ruth Rodgers, Frank Thompson, Jean Fominas, Neville Robson, Pam Thompson, Ken Thomsen.