Hi. My grandparents emigrated to Australia in the 1950s and my grandfather served with the Australian Army between 1951 and 1958. We are trying to get his service number so that we can access his records. I am sure I saw this while doing a general search on the archives but I cant find it now. Can anyone point me in the right direction please?

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Hi Steven,

Most post-WWII army service records are still held by the Department of Defence rather than NAA, so you won't neccessarily find any details of your grandfather's service on RecordSearch.

If you can give me his name and date of birth I'll see if I can find anything.


Andrew Cairns

NAA Staff

Hi Andrew and thanks so much for your reply. Since posting this question I have been in touch with the Department of Defense and have, via my mother, submitted the details we do have on my grandfather to them in a request for his service records. If you can help in the meantime I would be very grateful. I should say that I have already found details of his immigration into Australia along with his wife Mary and his two daughters Sarah (my mother) and Alexandra (my aunt) but any info on his military service would be very helpful. His details are below:

James Stewart Duncan

Born 1912 in Scotland UK

Died 1985 in Scotland UK

Arrived in Australia in 1952

Served with the Australian Army between 1952 and 1958 when he returned to the UK

Look forward to hearing from you.


Hi Steven,

Thanks for providing that information. I'm afraid that I haven't had any success. As Sylvia has indicated, he doesn't appear on the DVA Nominal Roll, so presumably did not serve in Korea. He may have served overseas during the 'Malayan Emergency' but there isn't an online nominal roll for this conflict that I can check.

Glad to hear you've applied to the Department of Defence to access his record. This is the most efficient way for the family of ex-servicemen to get access to post-WWII Army service records. These records can also be accessed through the Archives, but it does take longer, and our legislation requires us to restrict access to various information that Defence can release directly.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Andrew Cairns

NAA Staff

Have you tried it here?: http://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/

rgds, Sylvia

PS just saw that his name wasn't amongst this roll, so he might not have been in a conflict and/or peace operation?

Hi Sylvia. To my knowledge he enlisted only after 1951 so I am not sure if he would have served during any conflict as such. He served with the British Army during WW2 and they paid his ticket out to Australia with his family. I am not sure if it might be possible that he was transferred direct to Australian Army from British Army or if he had to re-enlist when he arrived in Australia. Thanks for your interest in my search. 



His immigration papers gave me the impression that the Australian Army had paid the 10 pound passage money contribution.

Additionally it mentioned that he left the British army in 1946, so it doesn't sound that he was transfered from one army to the other.

Oh! Maybe that's right Sylvia. I will take another look. Thanks. S


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