Ten years ago this November, John Howard’s Minister for Veteran Affairs, Danna Vale, launched a searchable internet database known as the World War 2 Nominal Roll.
It was intended to be a virtual war memorial, listing all Australians who served in World War II as one of the ways to honour the nation’s annual ANZAC Day pledges “Lest we forget” and “We will remember them”.
But while the database now correctly carries details of many of the 1 million Australians who served in the Army, Navy and Air Force, it also includes wrong details of thousands of others and – worse still – completely omits thousands more.
This means that it has practically become pot-luck whether a young person today, searching online for Grandma or Grandad’s war record, turns up the correct details or finds anything at all.
Does this sound like you, or your family?
If you think you, or a family member, or a close friend, might have been wrongly recorded or omitted altogether from the World War 2 Nominal Roll then here’s what to do:
Search as hard as you can through the Nominal Roll, here
You can also search using service number, military honour, or place of birth, locality on enlistment, or place of enlistment.
Hopefully the correct details pop up and everything’s fine.
If not, leave a comment on this page (My Nominal Roll Issues) and we’ll check it out. Then you can see the results of our checking back here, in later posts, in a little while.
If you’d rather send an email, fair enough Digger … use this one.