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World War One: Armed Forces - Australia

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  • Find A Grave. Original source not provided.
    Pte. Nigel Christopher Naden (1890 - 1918)
    Son of Rose Caroline and the late Christopher Joseph Naden, of 57, King St. West, Sandy Bay, Hobart, Tasmania. Native of Dunedin, New Zealand. Private, 40th Battalion, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. Kille...
  • James Ross Duperouzel (1897 - 1916)
    add to World War One: Casualties - Australia Private (Pte) James Ross Duperouzel, 11th Battalion, of Qualen, Western Australia. A shearer prior to enlisting on 31 December 1915, Pte Duperouzel embarke...
  • Bron Forsyth via Cenotaph.
    Pte. Robert Stanley Reynish (1892 - 1921)
    Robert Stanley Reynish was the son of George Edward Crowther Reynish and Avis Jane Le Brun (Neil). He served with the Australian Imperial Force and was wounded in action at Gallipoli and then wounded a...
  • New Zealand War Graves Project.
    Sgt. Ian Gibson Smith (c.1880 - 1917)
    Ian Gibson Smith was born at Balclutha, Otago in New Zealand's South Island in around 1880. His parents were Dr. John Gibson Smith (1837-1902) and Sarah Ellen Smith (nee Williams) (1846-1933) who had m...
  • New Zealand War Graves Project.
    Sgt. Irwin Goodwin Grinlinton, DCM (1885 - 1917)
    Son of William Nassau Grinlinton and Matilda Jemima Grinlinton (nee Armstrong). Killed in action 6 November 1917. Sources New Zealand War Graves Project:

World War One: Armed Forces - Australia

Please link GENi profiles of Australian Servicemen and women to this Project.

330,000 of total 416,809 in arms from Australia served in the conflict. The outbreak of World War I was greeted with considerable enthusiasm in Australia. Even before Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, the nation pledged its support alongside other states of the British Empire and almost immediately began preparations to send forces overseas to participate in the conflict.

The first campaign that Australians were involved in was in German New Guinea after a hastily raised force known as the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force was dispatched from Australia to seize German possessions in the Pacific in September 1914. At the same time another expeditionary force, initially consisting of 20,000 men and known as the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF), was raised for service overseas.

The nation's involvement cost more than 60,000 Australian lives and many more were left unable to work as a result of their injuries.

During the second half of World War I, the First Australian Imperial Force experienced a shortage of soldiers as the number of men volunteering to fight overseas declined and the casualty rate increased. At the time, military service within the Commonwealth of Australia and its territories was compulsory for Australian men, but that requirement did not extend to conflict outside of Australia.

In 1916, Prime Minister Billy Hughes called a plebiscite to determine public support for extending conscription to include military service outside the Commonwealth for the duration of the war. The referendum, held on 28 October 1916, narrowly rejected the proposal. A second plebiscite, held a year later on 20 December 1917, also failed (by a slightly larger margin) to gain a majority.

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