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Research Guides


Commonwealth Government Records about Tasmania


Servants of the Crown

Ministers of the Crown in a Commonwealth Government

Tasmanians who served as ministers in Commonwealth governments from 1901 to 2000 are listed in Appendix D. Chapter 8 on 'Commonwealth persons' is also relevant.

Members of armed services

Even confined to Tasmania, the Commonwealth record regarding defence and war includes details about huge numbers of individuals and the context of their experience in the armed services. As ever, the challenge is to find the individual in the record. Caveats stressed in this guide must be repeated. Again, there is extensive advice already prepared; National Archives fact sheets include advice on Navy service records, RAAF service records, military records held in Hobart, Boer War records, Army service records and World War I and World War II service records. The National Archives has also prepared research guides of relevance to varying degrees, the most useful being Craig Wilcox's The Boer War: Australians and the War in South Africa 1899–1902. A selection of the most likely useful series (held in the National Archives' Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney offices) is provided in Appendix E.

The Australian War Memorial is a very important source of information about Tasmanians and matters military, not least because of its large and rich series of records about those who were killed or died as a result of war, and its war diaries of army units and formations and their navy and air force equivalents. The Department of Veterans' Affairs is another source. TAHO has excellent sources which complement those of the National Archives, with convenient summaries as brief guides, accessible at linc.tas.gov.au (e.g. Brief guide 31 – Records relating to defence and Brief guide 32 – Regiments of the British army serving in Tasmania, 1803–1870).

National servicemen

If you think your person of interest may have been called up for national service, it is important to understand there were two schemes, the first operating between 1951 and 1959, and the second between 1965 and 1972. During the latter scheme, which operated during the Vietnam War, a number of Tasmanians refused to register, actions which were also caught in the Commonwealth's records.

Selected series relating to Tasmanian national servicemen
National Archives, Sydney
National Service registrants' files, 1965–73 P42
Personal case files (National Service), 1962– P1446
National Archives, Hobart
Court hearing registers for hearings of National Service registrants, 1966–73 P129
National Service trainee pay ledger cards, 1954–60 P870

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Chapter 7
Finding Tasmanians