Wednesday 20 April 2016
If you have a veteran of World War One or Two in your family tree, you may now be able to learn more about them and add personal details and anecdotes to their personal wartime journals.
The Bega Valley Shire Library Service recently partnered with Australia Remembers which has created a database of online journals that can help you pay tribute to the original Anzac and the many Australian servicemen and women who subsequently served in the Australian military.
Australia Remembers is an online resource that pulls together information from other organisations such as National Archives and the Australian War Memorial and creates online journals for each soldier.
The journals become very special living memorials as anyone can add photographs, memories or tributes to the online journals, building up a fascinating mix of factual, anecdotal and personal information that honours the soldiers in a unique way.
A special feature is that if you find a family member then you can create a dedication certificate to print off and keep.
You can search for an Anzac by name or service number or you can search for the town an Anzac was born in or enlisted, for example, there were 78 Anzacs born in Candelo.
Scott Baker, who is the Programs and Partnership Officer at the Bega Valley Shire Library Service, is encouraging people to check the database for family members who may have served in a world war and add more information such as a photograph, memory or anecdote to the online journal.
“If you’d like some help then visit your local library where we have friendly staff to assist you,” he said.
You can apply online to become a moderator or contributor to a soldier’s journal. Once approved, access is granted enabling material to be added at any time.
Australia Remembers also provides an online resource of activities for teachers and students at the Honouring Anzacs website, www.honouringanzacs.net.au, where students are invited to “adopt an Anzac”.
Mr Baker says Shire libraries have a range of resources that people can use for finding out more about their ancestors who may have served in WWI, WWII or other conflicts.
They include Remembering Bega Valley Servicemen of WWI by Pat Raymond, and The Jungle Dark by Steve Strevens which gives a moving account of the Vietnam War experiences of local man Frank Hunt.
Ancestry Library Edition and FindMyPast are two databases made freely available at any of the Shire’s libraries and useful for family history research.
The web address for Australia Remembers is www.australiaremembers.net.au