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Skip Navigation LinksQueensland State Archives > Researching the archives > Resources for researchers > First World War

First World War

Queensland State Archives hold a wealth of records that reflect the government's response to the outbreak of the First World War (1914-1918) and the ensuing years. In commemoration of the centenary of the First World War, Queensland State Archives is undertaking a program of work to highlight through our records the government's activities during this period.

The foyer exhibition, Going to War, looks at Queensland's early response to the war – from the declaration through to recruitment and the first embarkation of troops. Queenslanders eagerly signed up and those at home rallied by starting patriotic funds and contributing to them. The exhibition displays documents and photos that offer a keen insight into Queensland's war.
 

Digitised material

Digital copies of many records created by the Queensland government during the 1914 to 1918 period are available online. Search Image Queensland using such terms as:

  • World War 1914-1918
  • Australian home front
  • recruiting and enlistment
  • internment and aliens
  • conscriptions
  • soldier settlements
  • Armistice Day
  • Anzac Day
  • war memorials
  • repatriation
  • referendum
  • home front

Remember, the catalogue is continually being updated as more resources are digitised.

Virtual exhibitions

Using archival records, these virtual exhibition have been created to highlight a topic around the First World War.

Photograph of travelling kitchen, 28 June 1915

On the Home Front in Queensland

This exhibition highlights some of the records in Queensland State Archives' collection which document life on the home front in Queensland during the First World War.

Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 24660, Photograph of travelling kitchen, 28 June 1915

Poster advertising the Recruiting Committee's Special Train, August 1916 

Recruitment and enlistment in Queensland

This exhibition highlights some of the records in Queensland State Archives' collection which document recruitment and enlistment in Queensland during the First World War and the intense degree of state, social, media and moral pressure exerted on eligible males to enlist in the armed forces.

Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 25155, Poster advertising the Recruiting Committee's Special Train, August 1916

Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 25074

Internment and aliens during the First World War

This exhibition highlights some of the records in Queensland State Archives' collection which document the treatment of 'enemy aliens' - principally Germans, Turks, Austrians and Bulgarians - in Queensland during the First World War.

Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 25074Correspondence to the Commissioner of Police, Brisbane regarding Circular Memorandum No. 888 and instructions for the internment and treatment of Aliens

Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 156
Anzac Square and the Shrine of Remembrance

This exhibition includes photographs and documents from Queensland State Archives' collection which illustrate the development of Anzac Square. More information about the history of Anzac Square is available in the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection's Heritage Register.

Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 156, The Shrine, Anzac Square, Adelaide Street, Brisbane, c1932
Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 24666: Anzac War Memorial ceremony - Anzac Square, Ann Street, Brisbane, April 1985

Anzac Day

This exhibition highlights some of the records in our collection on Anzacs, Anzac Day and memorials for fallen soldiers such as the Shrine of Remembrance in Anzac Square, Brisbane. Anzac Day - 25 April - marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand soldiers during the First World War. Anzac is an abbreviation of the phrase 'Australian and New Zealand Army Corps' used to describe our forces during the First World War.

Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 24666, Anzac War Memorial ceremony - Anzac Square, Ann Street, Brisbane, April 1985
Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 25159

The conscription debate during the First World War

Twice during the First World War, a referendum was called for the Australian people to vote on the issue of military conscription. Each time, the majority of the Australian public voted against military conscription. Conscription divided the nation along both political and religious lines. This exhibition highlights some of the records in our collection which document the conscription debate in Queensland during the First World War.

Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 25159​, Flyer titled "Menace of War and Conscription" advertising a meeting to mark the 20 year anniversary of the defeat of the first conscription referendum, 1 November 1936

Historical essays

Queensland State Archives has commissioned a selection of historical essays about the First World War. The content for these essays has been researched using the records at Queensland State Archives:

Online indexes

An alphabetical name index to the applications for T.B Homes by returned servicemen with T.B. The applications include the personal and war details of the applicant and the particulars of land or district where the applicant desires the dwelling house to be erected:

An alphabetical name index which relates to Aboriginal people living at various settlements to be used for war census purposes, circa 1915-1916. The index was created by staff from the Communities and Personal Histories Unit, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services, Department of Communities:

An alphabetical name index for the Honour Roll created by the Windsor Town Council. The index and additional soldier research was completed by Queensland State Archives staff and volunteers. Every effort has been made to correctly identify the individuals listed:

Open data index

This dataset is an extract Queensland State Archives' Image Queensland dataset of selected records relating outbreak of the First World War (1914 – 1918) and the ensuing years, including post-war settlement and commemoration activities. The dataset only includes selected records that have been digitised and made available in Image Queensland up to 16 February 2015.

Social media

Read our First World War blog highlighting records of interest at Queensland State Archives relating to the home front during 1914 to 1918. Blog entries can be snippets of interest, explorations of a topic or opportunities to share information. As a number of blog entries will be posted over the coming months subscribe to the blog (by selecting the 'Follow' button) to receive automatic notifications. 

Listen to Senior Reference Archivist Jane Wassell talk about the 'Correspondence regarding donations made by the Red Cross Society of Queensland to Lady Dudley's Field Hospital and Belgian Hospitals, October - December 1914' (Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 24564) in this youtube video  

Government agencies

To assist researchers Queensland State Archives has created a web page listing the state and local government agencies responsible for creating a large number of records concerning the activities of the First World War.  

Death certificates for soldiers

The Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages hold death registrations for a number of service men and women who enlisted in Queensland and died while on active duty during both world wars. For First World War death certificates, search Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages online historical index on the Department of Justice and Attorney-General website.

Year 9 curriculum

To support the Australian History Curriculum, Queensland State Archives has selected a range of digitised records and resources from its collection to assist teachers in the teaching and learning of the First World War.



Last updated 20 November 2015
Queensland Public Service Patriotic Carnival, to asssist our wounded soldiers, at Brisbane Cricket Ground Woolloongabba, Sat July 31 1915
Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 25111: Queensland Public Service Patriotic Carnival, to assist our wounded soldiers, at Brisbane Cricket Ground Woolloongabba, Saturday July 31 1915