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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, we have undertaken a program of work to highlight, through our records, the government's activities during this period.

Our latest foyer exhibition, On the Home Front, looks at what happened at home after our troops left for the 'Great Adventure' of 1914 to 1918. What did Queenslanders do to support the war effort? What sacrifices did we have to make? This is the second in a series of exhibitions about Queensland's role in the First World War and it's on display now in the foyer exhibition space at Runcorn.
 

Online indexes

Index​ Description​
Aboriginal War Census returns 1915-1916 ​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.
List of Queensland State Archives First World War records ​This dataset is an extract of digitised records from Queensland State Archives' Image Queensland database relating to the 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.
TB Home applications 1923-1932​ ​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.
Windsor Honour Roll  1914-1925 ​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.
  

Social media

     

Queensland State Archives are highlighting records of interest on a range of social media. From posting some of our great images on Facebook to pinning a recruitment train on a map in Historypin, we're using a range of ways to stay in touch.
 
Our First World War blog entries include snippets of interest, explorations of a topic or stories of a Queensland soldier. New blog entries will be posted regularly so if you don't want to miss a post, subscribe by selecting the 'Follow' button. 
 
The First World War is just one of the albums on Flickr highlighting our image collection. From travelling kitchens to recruitment posters, explore some of digitised images related to the war and its remembrance.
 
An example of one of our collections on HistoryPin shows the route of the August 1915 special recruitment train organised by the Queensland Recruiting Committee. Timetables were displayed in various towns and motivational speakers travelled on the train to speak at the various destinations. Images describing the journey of the Recruiting Train and images of First World War memorials en route are included on this HistoryPin map.

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:

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

Other sources of information

​Website Description​​
Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages​ ​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.
National Archives of Australia​ ​The National Archives of Australia holds Army, Navy and Air Force service records, which include service during the First and Second World War. Many of the records for the First Wrold War have deen digitised and are available online.
State Library of Queensland​ QANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation is a five-year state wide legacy initiative providing Queenslanders with opportunities to learn and contribute to bringing our history to life and a renewed First World War and Anzac legacy for future generations.
 

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 19 July 2016
 

 First World War records - webinar

 
Senior Reference Archivist Saadia Thomson Dwyer discusses the vast range of First World War records in Queensland State Archives' collection.


 

  Looking for First World War records?

 
If you are looking for records about the First World War, try entering one of the terms below into ArchiveSearch and/or Image Queensland:
  • ​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
Patriotic fervour was not limited to men or adults. In this letter, a 10 year old sends the money she and her sister raised, through a raffle, for the wounded soldiers fund.