The World War Two Nominal Roll honours and commemorates some one million people who served in Australia's defence forces and the Merchant Navy during the period 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945.
The Nominal Roll is an index of information that provides a 'snapshot' of individual service gathered from service records.
You can search for an individual's World War Two service details, print a commemorative certificate, provide feedback, and print a permission letter to use a service badge for commemorative purposes.
The World War Two Nominal Roll was created to honour and commemorate some one million people who served in Australia's defence forces and the Merchant Navy during the period 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945.
The Nominal Roll is an index of information that provides a 'snapshot' of individual service gathered from service records.
On this site, you can search for an individual's World War Two service details, print a commemorative certificate, provide us with feedback if you wish, and find information about using a service badge for commemorative purposes.
The site also contains information about World War Two and links to other sources where you can learn about Australia's participation in this conflict.
The World War Two Nominal Roll includes approximately 50,600 members of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), 845,000 from the Australian Army, and 218,300 members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as well as 3,500 merchant mariners.
In addition, a page is dedicated to the Navy Canteen Staff. These were civilians who worked on board ships and were exposed to similar hazards of war as the members of the RAN who were also on board.
Australians who served with other Commonwealth or Allied Forces are not included in this Nominal Roll. Respective overseas countries may hold the World War Two service records for those Australians. In addition, those who served in the Australian Women's Land Army, the Australian Red Cross and philanthropic organisations, are not included in this Roll.
The Nominal Roll was compiled by extracting information from original service records held by the Department of Defence. Information for merchant mariners was retrieved from the microfilm of service record cards held by the National Archives of Australia. Additional information concerning those who died was obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
The original service records contain more detailed information about an individual's service. Most service records for World War Two are held by the National Archives of Australia .
Service records of those who continued to serve post-World War Two may still be held by the Department of Defence .
Merchant Navy records are held on microfilm by the Archives.
Individuals were given an opportunity to have their service details excluded from the website prior to it being published. However, should a veteran still wish to exclude their details, they should contact the Nominal Roll Team.
If you are a relative or acting on behalf of a veteran, you will need to include in your letter documentary proof of your bona fides, such as an enduring power of attorney.
The aim of the project was to compile and publish historically relevant information collected from individual service records spanning the World War Two period. The information collected during this project goes beyond the typical name and service number lists of previous Nominal Rolls to include some personal details and a snapshot of service activity.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the Nominal Roll is as accurate as possible.
In order to ensure the Nominal Roll's authenticity, the data was collected from the original service records. The Roll relies on the information contained in those records.
The following Service-specific documentation was used to source the information:
No, typically one or more of these documents would be used to provide as much information as possible. In some cases, the information was not available, incomplete or indecipherable. In the absence of these preferred forms, other official documents may be used to gather supporting information.
Several factors made the task of 'getting it right' a challenge.
Enlistment documents were generally handwritten by individuals at the time. Variations in handwriting and spelling, as well as amended details on some documents, made information difficult to interpret.
Document age and format, as well as missing documents and inconsistent information, also made the process of gathering the base data a challenge.
The Department of Veterans' Affairs contractor, Pickfords Records and Information Managers, used a four check process to ensure quality control. The primary quality assurance tool was a double entry computer process. Each record had its information entered by one operator and then entered again by a different operator. The computer program compared the two entries and identified any differences between the two. If a discrepancy appeared the computer program required the second operator to re-examine the service document before the record could be processed further. This method was designed to eliminate typographical and data source errors normally encountered in a highly intensive data entry environment.
At the completion of the double data entry process, the production supervisor conducted a sign-off check. During this check, individual records would be grouped and sorted so that similar information could be compared and obvious errors or omissions rectified before the work was signed off from the production line.
The data then underwent a final internal review by the contractor's production manager. This review was conducted prior to each fortnightly external audit. Thousands of records were reviewed to correct any major errors.
Some service records were not available at the time of the data collection project. The Nominal Rolls Team at the Department of Veterans' Affairs updates the Roll whenever new information becomes available.
Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that as a result, Australia is also at war.
Prime Minister Robert Menzies spoke these words in his address to the nation on 3 September 1939. World War Two had broken out two days earlier when Germany invaded Poland. After Britain and France declared war on Germany, Australia, part of the British Empire, promptly followed suit. It would be six years before Australia, and the world, was at peace again.
War service would take Australians to virtually every corner of the world. Nearly one million served in the armed services (Navy, Army and Air Force) or Merchant Marine, otherwise known as the Merchant Navy.
Australians served on two 'fronts' - in war zones and on the home front. About half the Australian servicemen and women saw active service, with the rest manning coastal defences, headquarters, supply depots, bases, training and other military establishments around Australia. Initially, women could serve only in the Australian Army Nursing Service and Voluntary Aid Detachments (supporting nurses) but from mid-1941 women began serving in non-medical roles in all three armed services, performing military duties for the most part within Australia, as well as serving in the air force and naval nursing services.
During 1940-41, the main actions involving Australians were in the Mediterranean, North Africa and Greece against German and Italian forces; in Syria against Vichy French forces; the air and sea war in the Atlantic; and the air war over Europe. Closer to home, the Royal Australian Navy engaged German raiders that threatened merchant shipping in the Indian Ocean.
War with Japan was also anticipated. Forces were sent to Darwin, Malaya and other locations in the so-called 'island barrier'. After Japan attacked on 7/8 December 1941, Australians fought at Rabaul, on the island of New Britain, and in Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies. From mid-1942, the main Australian campaign was in Papua New Guinea, though large forces were also deployed to Darwin, which was bombed repeatedly, and other areas of western and northern Australia where there a perceived threat of invasion. A sizeable force was also sent to southern Dutch New Guinea, which remained in Allied hands, and naval forces participated in the Solomon Islands campaign. Northern New South Wales and Queensland became important areas for military training and support of operations in 'the islands'. In 1945, Australian forces also served in Borneo, with smaller numbers in the Philippines and further north.
In addition, about 50,000 servicemen (mostly Air Force and Navy) continued serving in other theatres with British forces. From 'Russian convoys' in the North Atlantic to anti-submarine patrols off South Africa, from dark 'bomber nights'over Germany to steamy skies over Burma, from the fire-swept invasion beaches in Italy and France to the sparkling blue seas of the Caribbean, Australians served in these areas.
About 10,000 Australian servicemen were prisoners of war in Europe, most having been captured in Greece or North Africa or in air operations over north-west Europe. Another 22,000 were prisoners of war in the Asia-Pacific theatres. Most spent between three and four years in captivity. Those in Europe moved between different prison camps, most ending up in Germany, Austria, Italy or one of the occupied countries of eastern Europe, held in camps or working in factories and farms. In the Far East, Australians were captured in New Britain, Malaya, Singapore, the islands of the Netherlands East Indies, and a few in Burma; prisoners were sent to many other areas including Burma and Thailand (most of these men working on the infamous Burma-Thailand Railway), Borneo, Japan and Korea, but almost 8000 died in captivity under horrendous slave labour conditions.
Thus unlike most conflicts in which Australians have served, there was no 'standard' experience for Australians in World War Two. The nominal roll and other records reflect the wide areas of service and many different types of units (Australian and foreign) in which Australians served.
Australian naval personnel served literally in every corner of the world during World War Two. Indeed, the light cruiser HMAS Perth was in the Atlantic Ocean when war broke out and served for the first six months in the Caribbean.
Many sailors were members of the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RANVR), most of whom had signed up as reservists before the war. Some were members of programs like the Yachtsmen's Scheme, devised to give men the opportunity to train in seamanship before the war and then to receive specialist naval training when they were called up.
The RAN had a large onshore requirement to support the hundreds of vessels used during the war, ranging from cruisers to small Fairmile launches used for patrol and liaison duties. Many sailors were required to serve ashore, either for periods between postings at sea or for all of their service. Shore service included signals, training, administrative, intelligence, stores and repair work. In 1941, the first recruits for the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) were accepted.
At sea, it was not uncommon for a sailor to serve in more than one warship or small vessel - indeed, there were men who saw service on three or four (or more!) warships during six years of service. In 1939-41, the main area for operations of Australian warships was the Mediterranean where several made their combat 'debut', with the HMAS Sydney sinking the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni in June 1940, others serving off Greece and Crete, and some older ships joining the 'Scrap Iron Flotilla' taking part in the 'Tobruk Ferry'. Another important role was escort duties, particularly across the Indian Ocean where German armed merchant cruisers, or 'raiders', were active. It was in the Indian Ocean that the German raider Kormoran sank HMAS Sydney in November 1941, the worst Australian naval loss of the war.
From early 1942, the main area of operations was the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Most Australians who served at sea would have seen action in these theatres, though others continued serving overseas, with several corvettes sent back into the Mediterranean to take part in the invasion of Sicily in 1943. For most, naval service meant days of mundane anti-submarine or patrol duties interspersed, occasionally, by a few minutes or hours of excitement when there was the 'ping' of a submarine on the ship's Asdic set or the approach of an enemy aircraft. But several warships were lost, such as HMAS Vampire in the Bay of Bengal and HMAS Armidale off Timor, and some others, including HMAS Australia, were damaged (in Australia's case by Kamikaze aircraft) with resulting loss of life.
HMAS Perth was the only Australian warship sunk in enemy waters whose survivors were taken prisoner. However, some other Australian sailors who served in British warships and merchant ships (on which they served as gunners) ended up in Japanese, German or Italian prisoner of war camps.
Hundreds of men, particularly RANVR personnel, were seconded to the Royal Navy (RN) and served in British shore establishments and warships all over the world. These men performed a variety of operational roles, with many receiving specialist training such as mine disposals officers who defused enemy mines and bombs in England, the Middle East and Europe; anti-submarine warfare officers who specialised in the tactics and electronic equipment used in hunting enemy submarines; landing craft skippers who landed troops and supplies in the invasions of Italy and France; and midget submariners who made daring raids on German and Japanese ports. The men seconded to the RN were among the highest decorated Australian servicemen of the war.
The Army's official title in World War Two was the Australian Military Forces (AMF), often reflected on service records. The AMF consisted of the Permanent Military Force (PMF), Citizen Military Force (CMF) and the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).
In 1939, the PMF comprised about 3000 regular troops - mostly administrative staff, instructors, coastal fortress gunners and troops of the Darwin Mobile Force, the first regular field force. The CMF, or Militia, had about 80,000 troops who in effect were reservists. Some militiamen were called out on the first night of the war to guard installations. Training increased and in 1940-41 numbers of militiamen were boosted with further volunteering and reintroduction of compulsory military service (conscription). The CMF was thus part-volunteer, part-compulsory; its men could serve anywhere in Australia and, later, in Papua New Guinea but could not be compelled to serve any further afield.
The AIF was formed in October 1939 as an expeditionary force and included increasing numbers of men who transferred from the PMF and CMF. By mid 1940, the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Divisions had been formed. The 6th, 7th and 9th went to the Middle East, forming I Australian Corps and fighting German, Italian and Vichy French forces. Most of the 8th Division went to Malaya, with some troops sent to Rabaul and Darwin (and, later, Timor and Ambon). The 1st Armoured Division AIF was also formed but remained in Australia (some armoured units later saw action in Papua New Guinea and Borneo).
Most of the 8th Division was lost in early 1942 after Japan entered the war. The 6th and 7th Divisions were recalled from the Mediterranean and North Africa to defend Australia. About 3000 men of the 7th were taken prisoner of war after landing at Java. Many 6th Division troops served on Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) briefly before returning to Australia. The 9th Division stayed in North Africa until the end of 1942, playing a vital role in the Battle of El Alamein.
Militia and AIF troops served side-by-side in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The two largest defence commitments within Australia were III Corps in Western Australia and Northern Territory Force. Many troops served at base and defence establishments around the country.
In early 1942, to boost manpower, the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) began recruiting for administrative, intelligence, signals or anti-aircraft service within Australia. This was the third 'female' service, along with the Australian Army Nursing Service and Australian Medical Women's Army Service (previously Voluntary Aid Detachments), whose personnel could serve in Australia and overseas. AWAS members were enlisted specifically to serve in Australia, but this restriction on service was eventually relaxed and about 365 members of the AWAS served in New Guinea in 1945-46.
In 1942, many militiamen wanted to transfer to the AIF but were blocked, to stop the militia units from folding. A compromise was reached whereby militiamen could transfer to the AIF, but stay in their unit, at least initially. If more than half a unit transferred it could become a 'brackets AIF' unit - for instance, the 7th Field Company (AIF). AIF officers and NCOs were transferred to militia units to improve leadership and training.
From late 1942, reinforcements for units came from a central pool, rather than from reinforcement depots in each State, so the regional 'identity' of many units dissipated. For instance, the 2/9th Battalion AIF was raised in Queensland but from late 1942 included men from every State.
Soldiers served in a variety of combat and non-combat units, with logistic support required within Australia, along lines of communication and in battle areas. Indeed, so great was the demand for logistic support provided by base, administrative, supply and transport troops, that by war's end less than one in five troops was serving in a combat unit.
The main campaign in the Pacific was in Papua New Guinea but in 1945 the 7th and 9th Divisions went to Borneo. The 6th continued fighting in New Guinea, the 3rd on Bougainville and the 5th on New Britain (the latter two being militia divisions). Only a handful of soldiers served overseas at this stage with British forces, but thousands were still in prisoner of war camps in Europe and the Pacific, having been captured in 1941-42.
The Royal Australian Air Force was expanding when war broke out, having 12 squadrons formed or in the process of forming. Most were located in Australia, but Australian airmen would end up serving in every theatre of the war.
At the outbreak of war, 10 Squadron RAAF was in Britain collecting Sunderland flying boats purchased by the RAAF. The squadron was offered to Britain to serve as part of Royal Air Force Coastal Command, flying anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic Ocean for the duration of the war. 11 Squadron was stationed at Port Moresby with Catalina flying boats, flying long-range reconnaissance patrols over northern Australia and north of Papua New Guinea. In 1940, 3 Squadron was posted to the Middle East as an army co-operation squadron with the Australian Imperial Force, but became a fighter squadron.
Plans had been made to raise and send more squadrons overseas but the Australian Government then signed up to the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS), under which the Royal Australian, New Zealand and Canadian Air Forces would train aircrews to be loaned to the Royal Air Force. Most would serve in British squadrons, though some would be posted to 'Article XV', or '400-series' squadrons. These squadrons were raised by the RAF but with their nationality officially recognised - for instance, 460 Squadron RAAF, to which the famous Lancaster G for George at the Australian War Memorial belonged. Many aircrews who survived their tours of duty returned to Australia to serve in RAAF squadrons and as instructors.
Training of EATS recruits took place in Australia, Canada, Rhodesia and Britain. By war's end, almost 40,000 Australians had been sent overseas under this scheme, serving in Europe, the Middle East, Burma and other places. Many men in Australia and overseas died in training accidents. Many who graduated from courses flew with Bomber Command, which had the highest operational loss rate of any British Commonwealth force in the war. The RAAF also sent ground crews to serve in most of its Article XV squadrons (as well as 3 and 10 Squadrons), most serving up to four years overseas. Hundreds of RAAF members became prisoners of war in Germany and Italy, as well as a smaller number in the Far East.
The majority of RAAF personnel remained in Australia. The massive expansion of the forces required extensive administrative, training, supply and maintenance services, and there was also a strong commitment to 'home defence', so many men and most women who volunteered for the RAAF never got the chance to serve overseas. To assist in meeting the demand for manpower within Australia, the RAAF formed the Women's Australian Auxiliary Air Force in 1941, recruiting women to serve in administrative roles and to perform routine maintenance on aircraft, serving alongside men, in non-operational units (mostly training establishments) in Australia.
In 1940, the RAAF sent three squadrons to Malaya; in 1941 these were joined by an Article XV squadron, 453, raised at Bankstown, New South Wales, along with some EATS graduates posted to British squadrons. They were the first to see action against Japanese forces. About 200 RAAF men, mostly ground staff, were taken prisoner by the Japanese. By the end of 1942, RAAF squadrons also had seen extensive operational service in northern Australia, the Netherlands East Indies and Papua New Guinea. Other squadrons flew anti-submarine patrols over the shipping lanes around Australia.
The majority of RAAF personnel who saw active service served in these campaigns against Japan. A few had previously served in Europe or the Middle East. Along with flying squadrons, RAAF members served in various supporting units including headquarters, supply depots, communications flights, medical aerial evacuation units, radar stations and airfield construction squadrons - some of the latter two types of units serving in the Philippines in 1945 with American forces. The RAAF also played a part in the repatriation of prisoners of war at the end of the war. The only RAAF servicewomen to see active service were members of the RAAF Nursing Service.
The Merchant Navy, or Merchant Marine, was often said to be the 'unseen' or 'silent' service. Thousands of Australians served as merchant mariners, shipping troops and supplies around the world and sometimes directly supporting military operations.
Merchant seamen generally signed on to a merchant ship, rather than being posted to one. Australians could serve on ships of virtually any nationality serving the Allied cause. Thus, although most served on vessels belonging to Australian shipping lines, many were on British or even Norwegian vessels, and a few on American and other ships.
Men who served in the Atlantic convoys sailing between North America and Britain faced some of the highest casualty rates of the war, as German U-boats (submarines) waged a campaign against merchant shipping that reached its peak in 1942-43. Most dangerous were the Arctic convoys taking supplies to Russian ports, as crewmen of any ship sunk had little chance of survival unless picked up quickly from the freezing North Atlantic waters. Merchant seamen also suffered heavy losses against enemy aircraft while running supplies to the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean, and off Greece and Crete.
Many ships had anti-aircraft and anti-submarine guns fitted, thus turning them into Defensively Armed Merchant Ships (DEMS), with naval ratings posted aboard to provide gun crews, but in practice these guns were little defence against determined enemy attacks.
Merchant seamen were among the first Australians captured by enemy forces during the war. In 1940, several men were captured by German raiders operating in the Indian Ocean. Merchant ships in this area often sailed unescorted unless they were carrying troops or could accompany a troop convoy, and so they proved to be easy prey. Some men were taken as prisoners of war to Italian Somaliland, but were released when British forces occupied the territory in 1941, while others went to Germany and a few to Italy. In late 1941 and early 1942, several Australian merchant seamen were killed or taken prisoner by Japanese raiders in the Indian Ocean or when their ships were sunk in air or sea attacks in Malayan, Netherlands East Indies or New Guinea waters.
From 1942, many merchant seamen sailed in the regular supply runs around the Australian coastline and to Papua New Guinea, servicing Australian, American and Dutch forces. Many of the merchant ships were Dutch or American, but Australian shipping lines such as Burns Philp, Australian United Steam Navigation and Huddart Parker played a vital role in supporting military operations in this theatre. Several merchant ships were sunk by Japanese submarines or mines, mostly off Australia's east coast, or attacked by enemy aircraft in operational areas, but generally shipping losses were light.
Australian merchant seamen continued serving in every theatre of war. Australia was a significant primary producer, sending bulk agricultural products to Britain and India (along with military supplies), while also requiring military and commercial supplies to be brought from Britain, North America and elsewhere. Shipping lanes, particularly those in the Atlantic, remained dangerous, though not so bad as the worst years for merchant shipping losses of 1940-43. At war's end, it was recognised that merchant seaman had risked their lives playing a vital role in the war effort and they qualified for service medals.
|Commodore 1st Class|
|Commodore 2nd Class|
|Lieutenant Commander||Lt Cr|
|Cadet Midshipman||C Mid|
|Commissioned Gunner||Cd Gr|
|Commissioned Boatswain||Cd B|
|Engineer Branch||Engineer Rear Admiral||E A|
|Engineer Captain||E C|
|Engineer Commander||E Cr|
|Commander (E)||Cr (E)|
|Engineer Lieutenant Commander||E Lt Cr|
|Lieutenant Commander (E)||Lt Cr (E)|
|Engineer Lieutenant||E Lt|
|Lieutenant (E)||Lt (E)|
|Sub Lieutenant (E)||Sub (E)|
|Midshipman (E)||Mid (E)|
|Commissioned Engineer||Cd Eng|
|Warrant Engineer||W Eng|
|Commissioned Mechanician||Cd Mech|
|Warrant Mechanician||W Mech|
|Communications Branch||Telegraphist Lieutenant||TL|
|Commissioned Telegraphist||Cd Tel|
|Warrant Telegraphist||W Tel|
|Signal Lieutenant||Sig Lt|
|Commissioned Signal Boatswain||Cd SB|
|Artisan Branch||Shipwright Lieutenant Commander||Shwt Lt Cr|
|Shipwright Lieutenant||Shwt Lt|
|Commissioned Shipwright||Cd Shwt|
|Warrant Shipwright||W Shwt|
|Ordnance Lieutenant Commander||O Lt Cr|
|Ordnance Lieutenant||O Lt|
|Commissioned Ordnance Officer||Cd O O|
|Warrant Ordnance Officer||W O O|
|Electrical Lieutenant||El Lt|
|Commissioned Electrician||Cd Elec|
|Warrant Electrician||W Elec|
|Medical Branch||Surgeon Captain||Sg C|
|Surgeon Commander||Sg Cr|
|Surgeon Commander (D)||Sg Cr (D)|
|Surgeon Lieutenant Commander||Sg Lt Cr|
|Surgeon Lieutenant Commander (D)||Sg Lt Cr (D)|
|Surgeon Lieutenant||Sg Lt|
|Surgeon Lieutenant (D)||Sg Lt (D)|
|Wardmaster Lieutenant||Wdr Lt|
|Commissioned Wardmaster||Cd Wdr|
|Warrant Wardmaster||W Wdr|
|Accountant Branch / Supply and Secretariat Branch||Paymaster Captain||P C|
|Paymaster Commander||P Cr|
|Paymaster Lieutenant Commander||P Lt Cr|
|Paymaster Lieutenant||P Lt|
|Paymaster Sub Lieutenant||P Sub|
|Paymaster Midshipman||P Mid|
|Paymaster Cadet||P Cdt|
|Commissioned Writer||Cd W|
|Warrant Writer||W W|
|Commissioned Supply Officer||Cd S O|
|Warrant Supply Officer||W S O|
|Chaplain and Instructor Branch||Chaplain||Ch|
|Instructor Captain||I C|
|Instructor Commander||I Cr|
|Instructor Lieutenant Commander||I Lt Cr|
|Instructor Lieutenant||I Lt|
|Commissioned Instructor||Cd I|
|Warrant Instructor||W I|
|Headmaster Lieutenant Commander||Hdmr Lt Cr|
|Headmaster Lieutenant||Hdmr Lt|
|Senior Master||Sen Mr|
|Schoolmaster holding the rank of Commissioned Officer from Warrant Rank||Schr (CWO)|
|Schoolmaster Candidate||Schr C|
|Miscellaneous||Commissioned Master-at-Arms||Cd MAA|
|Warrant Master-at-Arms||W MAA|
|Commissioned Bandmaster||Cd Br|
|Warrant Bandmaster||W Br|
|Commissioned Officer from Warrant Rank||Cd W O|
|Warrant Officer||W O|
|Senior Naval Instructor||S N I|
|Naval Instructor||N I|
|Inspector, Naval Dockyard Police||Insp|
|Sub Inspector, Naval Dockyard Police||Sub Insp|
|Officers' Stewards and Cooks||Commissioned Steward||Cd S|
|Commissioned Cook||Cd Ck|
|Warrant Cook||W Ck|
|Naval Auxiliary Patrol||Squadron Skipper||Sq Sk|
|Divisional Skipper||D Sk|
|Staff Skipper||St Sk|
|Area Skipper||Ar Sk|
|Surgeon Skipper||Sg Sk|
|Communications Officer||C O|
|Liaison Officer||L O|
|Survey Officer||S O|
|Seaman Branch||Chief Petty Officer||CPO|
|Leading Seaman||Ldg Sea or Ldg Smn|
|Ordinary Seaman||Ord Sea or Ord Smn|
|Ordinary Seaman II||Ord Sea II or Ord Smn II|
|Engineroom Branch||Chief Engine Room Artificer||CERA|
|Engine Room Artificer I||ERA I|
|Engine Room Artificer II||ERA II|
|Engine Room Artificer III||ERA III|
|Engine Room Artificer IV||ERA IV|
|Mechanician I||Mech I|
|Mechanician II||Mech II|
|Chief Stoker||CPO Sto|
|Stoker Petty Officer||Sto PO|
|Leading Stoker||Ldg Sto|
|Stoker I||Sto I|
|Stoker II||Sto II|
|Stoker III||Sto III|
|Communications Branch||Chief Yeoman of Signals||CYS|
|Yeoman of Signals||Y of S|
|Leading Signalman||Ldg Sig|
|Ordinary Signalman||Ord Sig|
|Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist||CPO Tel|
|Petty Officer Telegraphist||PO Tel|
|Leading Telegraphist||Ldg Tel|
|Ordinary Telegraphist||Ord Tel|
|Petty Officer Coder|
|Ordinary Coder II|
|Artisan Branch||Chief Shipwright|
|Chief Ordnance Artificer||COA|
|Ordnance Artificer I||OA I|
|Ordnance Artificer II||OA II|
|Ordnance Artificer III||OA III|
|Ordnance Artificer IV||OA IV|
|Chief Electrical Artificer||CEA|
|Electrical Artificer I||EA I|
|Electrical Artificer II||EA II|
|Electrical Artificer III||EA III|
|Electrical Artificer IV||EA IV|
|Motor Mechanic I|
|Motor Mechanic II|
|Motor Mechanic III|
|Motor Mechanic IV|
|Petty Officer Wireman|
|Medical Branch||Sick Berth Chief Petty Officer||SB CPO|
|Sick Berth Petty Officer||SB PO|
|Leading Sick Berth Attendant||Ldg SBA|
|Sick Berth Attendant||SBA|
|Sick Berth Attendant II||SBA II|
|Chief Dental Mechanic|
|Accountant Branch/Supply and Secretariat Branch||Chief Petty Officer Writer||CPO Wtr|
|Petty Officer Writer||PO Wtr|
|Leading Writer||Ldg Wtr|
|Supply Chief Petty Officer|
|Supply Petty Officer|
|Leading Supply Assistant|
|Chief Petty Officer Cook (S)|
|Petty Officer Cook (S)|
|Leading Cook (S)|
|Assistant Cook (S)|
|Officers' Stewards and Cooks||Chief Petty Officer Cook (O)|
|Petty Officer Cook (O)|
|Leading Cook (O)|
|Assistant Cook (O)|
|Chief Petty Officer Steward||CPO Std|
|Petty Officer Steward||PO Std|
|Leading Steward||Ldg Std|
|Chief Petty Officer Butcher|
|Petty Officer Butcher|
|Wireless Mechanic Branch||Wireless Mechanic|
|Leading Wireless Mechanic|
|Petty Officer Wireless Mechanic|
|Chief Petty Officer Wireless Mechanic|
|Radio Mechanic Branch||Ordinary Seaman Radio Mechanic||Ord Radio Mech (C), (R), (S) or (W)*|
|Radio Mechanic||Radio Mech (C), (R), (S) or (W)*|
|Leading Radio Mechanic||Ldg Radio Mech (C), (R), (S) or (W)*|
|Petty Officer Radio Mechanic||PO Radio Mech (C), (R), (S) or (W)*|
|Chief Petty Officer Radio Mechanic||CPO Radio Mech (C), (R), (S) or (W)*|
|Regulating Petty Officer||RPO|
* For the above Radio Mechanic Branch, the following text explains the (C), (R), (S) and (W) suffixes: (C) Trained in all forms of radar and wireless telegraphy, electronic navigational aids and radio counter measures. (R) Trained for radar equipment and general service. (S) Trained for wireless telegraphy equipment in stations ashore. (W) Trained for part radar, part wireless telegraphy and general service.
|Wrans||Chief Petty Officer Wran||CPO Wran|
|Petty Officer Wran||PO Wran|
|Leading Wran||Ldg Wran|
|All Branches||Field Marshal||FM|
|All Branches||Company Sergeant Major||CSM|
|Warrant Officer Class 1||WO1|
|Warrant Officer Class 2||WO2|
The ranks used for members of the Australian Women's Army Service are the same as those above.
The ranks below applied to members of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) until March 1943. After that date, members of the AANS used the same standard ranks detailed above, eg: Lieutenant, Captain.
|All Branches||Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force (King George VI)|
|Air Vice Marshal||AVM|
|Wing Commander||Wg Cr|
|All Branches||Warrant Officer||WO|
|Aircraftman Class II||AC2|
|Aircraftman Class 1||AC1|
|All Branches||Group Officer||Gr O|
|Wing Officer||Wg O|
|Squadron Officer||Sq O|
|Flight Officer||Fl O|
|Assistant Section Officer||ASO|
|All Branches||Warrant Officer||WO|
|Aircraftwoman Class II||ACW2|
|Aircraftwoman Class 1||ACW1|
The abbreviations in this section are typical of the many variations of capacities (ranks) recorded in the service records.
|All Branches||Able Seaman||Ab|
|Apprentice||App'tce, appce, appr'tce, apptc, apptce|
|Assistant Engineer Steward|
|Boiler Attendant||B/a, b/att, b/attd, blr attdt, blr attndt, blr/attdt, boiler att|
|Cadet Steward||Cad Std, Cadet Std, Cadet Stwd, Cdt Std, Cdt Stwd, Cdt/Std|
|Chief Clerk||Ch Clerk|
|Chief Cook||C/Cook, Ch Cook, Ch/Cook|
|Chief Electrician||Ch Elect|
|Chief Officer||Ch Officer|
|Chief Radio Officer||Ch Ro|
|Chief Steward||C/Stwd, C/Std, C/Stwd, Ch Stwd, Ch Std|
|Cook Steward||Cook Stwd, Cook/Steward|
|Cook Attendant||Cook Attd, Cook Attdt|
|Deck Attendant||D Att, Deck Attdt, Deck Attend, Dk Att, Dk Attend|
|Deck Boy||D boy, d'boy, d/boy, dk boy, dk/boy|
|Deck Cadet||D/Cadet, Dk Cadet, Dk Cdt|
|Deck Hand||Dk Hand, Dk/Hand|
|Deck Man||D/Man, Dk Man|
|Donkeyman Greaser||Dk greaser, dky greaser, dky gres, dky grser, dky grsr, dky/greaser|
|Donkey Boy||Dky Boy|
|Electrical Engineer||Elect Eng|
|Electrician||Elect, electn, electrn|
|Engine Room Attendant||E room attndt, er att, er attdt|
|Engineer||Eng, engn, engr|
|Executive Engineer||Ex Engr|
|Executive Officer||Ex Officer|
|Fireman Attendant||F attd, f'man att, f/man attdt|
|Fireman Greaser||F'man & grsr, f'man greaser, f'man grsr, f'man gssr|
|Fireman Trimmer||F&T, F'man & Trimmer, F'man Trim, F/Man Trim, Fman & Trim, Fman trim|
|Fireman Wiper||F'man Wiper|
|First Grade Steward||1 Gd Std, 1 Gd Stew, 1 Gd Stw|
|First Mate||1 MATE, 1/MATE|
|Head Waiter||1 /C HD WAITER|
|Hospital Attendant||Hosp Attdt|
|Junior Ordinary Seaman||Jos, jnr os|
|Kitchen Porter||Kit port, kit porter,kit pter, kit pur|
|Night Watch||N watch, nightwatch|
|Officer Steward||Off Stwd|
|Pantry Steward||Pantry Std|
|Probationer Steward||Prob stwd, pro std|
|Radio Officer/Radio Operator||R/o, radio, ro, r/officer, r/off, r/offr, rad off|
|Saloon Boy||Sal boy|
|Second Officer||2 OFF|
|Ships Carpenter||S carpt, s/carpenter, ship cpter|
|Steward||Std, stwd, stw|
|Steward Boy||Std boy, stwd boy|
|Steward In Charge||Std i/c, std in chge|
|Third Officer||3 Rd Off|
|Utility Man||Utility M|
|Utility Steward||Utility stwd, utility stewd|
The Glossary of Ranks displayed on this website have been compiled from information supplied by:
Navy Naval History Directorate Department of Defence Russell Offices CANBERRA ACT 2600
Army Army History Unit Department of Defence Russell Offices CANBERRA ACT 2600.
RAAF RAAF Historical Records Department of Defence Russell Offices CANBERRA ACT 2600
Merchant Navy Principal Adviser (Analysis) Maritime Safety and Environmental Strategy Australian Maritime Safety Authority CANBERRA ACT 2600
The Honour and Gallantry Award data for individual service men and women was provided by Mr Anthony Staunton, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Canberra.
Honour and Gallantry Medal images, displayed on this website, were taken from the following publications:
The Year 2001 Calender Published jointly by the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Australian War Memorial:
Medal Yearbook 2001Edited by James Mackay, John W Mussell and the Editorial Team of Medal News, published by Token Publishing Ltd., Devon, UK:
British Orders, Decorations and MedalsBy Donald Hall in association with Christopher Wingate. Balfour Publications, printed and published by Photo Precision Ltd, St Ives, Huntington, England:
Gallantry Medals and Awards of the WorldBy John D Clarke. Published by Patrick Stephens Limited:
The following photographs were provided courtesy of the Australian War Memorial (AWM), Canberra.
1941-02. Prime Minister Mr Robert G. Menzies reviews the crew of H.M.A.S. Perth.
 1942-11-23. New Guinea. Gorari. Most of the hand to hand fighting took place in the Gorari region, where one Australian unit killed and buried over 500 Japanese. The Japanese dead were buried in common graves, 5, 6, and up to 10 in one grave. Their steel helmets were placed on the top of the graves. In this photo is an Australian burying party. They are (L To R) Cpl. R.V. Twomey, Ptes R.C. Smith, D. Serone, S.H. Griffiths, V.W. Russel & A Mcgoldrick all from N.S.W. (Negative by G. Silk).
[UK00959]Yorkshire, England. 1944-01-17. The crew of a Halifax aircraft of No. 466 Squadron RAAF, at RAF Station Leconfield. They were formerly a Wellington aircraft crew. Left to right: 420171 Flight Sergeant (F Sgt) W. D. Flett, of Homebush, NSW; 413427 Flying Officer (FO) C. W. Reynolds, of Chatswood, NSW; 420590 Sgt N. M. Page, Dulwich Hill, NSW; 423116 FO H. R. Hoare, of Strathfield, NSW; Sgt E. G. Beldin, RAF, of Carshalton, England.
Group portrait of Matron (Captain) M Clayton, wearing glasses (possibly Sister Paul from NSW), 2/12th Australian General Hospital (2/12 AGH), and Lieutenants G Munro; Edna McFadyen of Maitland, NSW (second from the right) 2/12 AGH; E Neagle of SA (fourth from right) 2/2nd Casualty Clearing Station; C Fredericks; J Sinclair; L Greene; A Kelly and E McLenna in a bus taking them from Circular Quay to the Sydney local transit depot. The Australian Army Medical Women's Service (AAMWS) members had just returned home from Balikpapan aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Vengeance.
1942-07-24. A group of the survivors off the Macdhui sunk in Port Moresby 1942-06-18. The seamen were able to save only the clothes they were wearing but never the less they could raise a smile. Most of them are anxious to find another ship as soon as possible. (Negative by Anderson)