Records of defence administration, the forces, service personnel and more

Prime Minister Robert Menzies and men from the Royal Australian Air Force, England, 1941
Prime Minister Robert Menzies meeting pilots and ground staff of the Royal Australian Air Force at a Coastal Command station in the south of England, 1941 (NAA: A5954, 1299/2 PHOTO 6688)

Defence was one of the first functions to be passed to the new Australian Government in 1901. Until then, responsibility for defence had rested with the six colonies.

The National Archives’ holdings on defence date largely from 1901 but include some colonial records, such as those on the Boer War.

Though our collection of defence-related records is vast, it does not include all defence records created by the Australian Government – the Australian War Memorial holds most of the operational records of war.

In these pages, learn about:

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019