War Records: WW1 Nominal Rolls at the Australian War Memorial

Miracles Do Happen!


Harold George Turner,  Service No. 5185, 1st Divisional Signal Company (SRSA GRG26/5/4/779) 

Do you have a name, service number or unit for the First World War or other conflicts before searching for them on the Australian War Memorial‘s website? If not, a surname, some time and good luck will hopefully find this information for you.

Start in ‘People’ with ‘Search for a person’ and put in the details you have to see if you can find them. The results lead to the Roll of Honour, Commemorative Rolls and Nominal Rolls.

Nominal Rolls: First World War Embarkation Rolls

Service number: 5185
Rank: Sapper
Surname, first name: Turner, Harold George
Roll title: 1 Divisional Signal Company -13 to 16 Reinforcements (Jan-April 1916)   Date of embarkation: 5 Jan 1916
Place of Embarkation: Melbourne
Ship embarked on:HMAT Afric A19

Below this information you can view the original digitised record which includes further information including the next of kin. This helps if you are unsure of which person is the right one. The digitised record shows- 

Service number: 5185
Surname, first name: Turner, Harold George
Rank: Sapper
Age: 25
Trade or Calling: Railway clerk
Married or Single: S. (single)
Address at Date of Enrolment: Alexandra St, Prospect South Australia
Next of kin: Mother, Mrs T.C. Reade, Alexandra St, Prospect, South Australia
Religion: C. of E.
Date of Joining: 19 Aug 1915
Embarked:Melbourne on HMAT A19 Afric 5 January, 1916

Nominal Rolls: First World War Nominal Roll

Service number: 5185
Final Rank: Corporal
Surname, first name: Turner, Harold
Unit of service at the time of death or at the end of the war: 1st D. Sig. C.
Date of enlistment: 19-8-1915
Fate: RTA (Returned to Australia)
Date of death or fate: RTA 12-7-1919

There were no photos of Harold George Turner or his brother Cecil Edward Turner until very recently when it seemed like a miracle to finally see them in the WW1 photograph collection at the State Records of South Australia. It is hard to locate them individually by name as they are on Flickr so a google image search is much easier. Unfortunately, they are not available on Trove. Another excellent source where you can view photographs is The WW1 Pictorial Honour Rolls which includes Australian service personnel organised by state, navy personnel organised by ship as well as nurses. The biographies may provide details such as parents, birth, death or marriage which can be very useful. Here’s the entries for Harold George Turner and his brother Cecil Edward Turner who will be featured in the next blog on the Australian War Memorial’s Roll of Honour. Thanks to the State Library of Victoria for this image of ‘HMAT Afric’ which is available through Trove.

SLVic_HMAT Afric   HMAT Afric (SLVic H2013.223/84)

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