16 June 2010

Family History Help in Canberra?

| bigcohuna1
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I’m doing the family history thing and I am just wondering if anyone out there can help steer me toward some information.

Looking to track down information on

a) No. 2 Railway Construction Company(Royal Australian Engineers), 2nd AIF. Served in Middle East (I think) Australia (NT-Darwin & all areas in between) and with the 7th Division during the invasion of Borneo (Balikpapan) – any unithistory or ex servicemen etc?

b) Aust Army Paybook Photo’s – is there an archive?

The people at the Australian War Memorial have been very helpful and supportive but as you can probably appreciate, they have sooo much in archive and much still hasn’t yet been put to digital.

Thanks for any help from anyRioters


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Bigcohuna, keep trying, unfortunately but understandably war records from so long ago are not complete for many reasons. In my own case my father had more than one VX number, he chooses not to tell so I choose not to ask. Maybe better that way. Oh and don’t worry about krasny, some people just don’t get it.

Thanks for your help Rioters.

Have been through the National Archives and have a copy of service records of family member, and have been to the Aust War Memorial a couple of times

Sorry to disappoint you Krasny, but I’ve been looking over hardcopy & electonic stuff for ages & I’ll keep going over the stuff there (as I said they have so much stuff but so far nothing much on the unit itself). thanks foro your kinfd thoughts though…heh heh..

krasny said :

Is there something wrong with a) going into the War Memorial’s reading room, and b) using a photocopier/taking notes?
Jesus tap-dancing Christ, how lazy can you be?

No offence taken…sorry.

Thanks folks for the tip on Nat’l Archives in Parkes -I’ll be checking there next, and for the tip on the RSL – the problem so far seems to be that the Railway Construction Company’s were small units that were later absorbed into the larger support engineer units so Company Diaries / Logs are hard to track down in some places.

Had similar trouble with another relative’s war history (KIA on Crete WWII) and the unit diary wasn’t avail until it was made digital, then no worries at all.

Once again thanks for your help.


National Archives have the WWII personnel service records and according to their website, if you can’t be bothered flicking through the paper version for less than $20 you can order a digital copy. You will probably need the VX number of the serviceman, so try searching the WW2 nominal roll (it’s online) first.

If you are looking to track down the Unit and surviving veterans – try the National RSL Headquarters. They should know where affiliated Unit Associations are based and could probably pass on contact details – that is if you are lucky enough for there to be enough veterans left to maintain an association, which is not always the case. Unit histories are often commissioned by the associations, so if you find one you may find the other.

The Great Bambino3:48 pm 16 Jun 10

The National Archives of Australia has all WW1 dossiers digitised and available to view online at http://mappingouranzacs.naa.gov.au/

The Archives also have all the WWII dossiers and additional files (paybooks) on servicemen available for viewing at their reading room in Parkes they also have research assistants there to help you find what your after and if not point you in the right direction, probably back to the War Memorial.

Apart from that you might want to give the Central Army Records Office (CARO) in Melbourne a call as they have most of the post 1945 records still in their archives.

Is there something wrong with a) going into the War Memorial’s reading room, and b) using a photocopier/taking notes?

Jesus tap-dancing Christ, how lazy can you be?

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