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Research Guides

Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia

19. War service

Australia has provided forces to major conflicts during the 20th century, from the Boer War, which was underway as Australia federated in 1901. More than 1000 South Australians volunteered and served in one of the six colonial contingents sent from Australia to South Africa. In 1900 the South Australian navy vessel Protector was sent to China for the Boxer Rebellion where more than 100 South Australians served.

A major reorganisation of Australia's colonial defence forces occurred after 1901 when the Commonwealth Department of Defence was established. Compulsory military training for young men was introduced in 1911, despite strong objections in South Australia. South Australian men and women have served with the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.


Chapter 19
War service