World War II Memory: Warwick soldiers on the battlefields in 1941, during World War II, reading the Warwick Daily News.
World War II Memory: Warwick soldiers on the battlefields in 1941, during World War II, reading the Warwick Daily News. Contributed

World War II memories to be digitised

THE records of Australia's servicemen and women who fought in the World War II will be converted into digital files as part of a new government program.

This new program will be focused on recognising the service of our veterans, just in time for the 75-year anniversary of the end of World War II.

Many Australians are interested in uncovering the untold stories of their relatives, and other servicemen and women.

They will will soon be able to access these records easier.

There are about 80 per cent of Australia's 1,062,000 WWII service records that have not been digitised through the National Archives of Australia.

Northern-based Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald said the digitised records would be an invaluable source of information and knowledge for families, students, authors and academics interested in learning about Australians who fought and served.

"We want the sacrifice and service of every single serviceman and woman who fought for our country to be remembered and understood by all Australians,” Mr Macdonald said.

"With next year marking the 75-year anniversary of the end of the Second World War, I am pleased that the Morrison Government is taking the steps to ensure that the sacrifice of those who served and fought are not forgotten.

"Rather, these records will be frozen in time through digitalisation and made available to every Australian.”

During World War II, more than 27,000 were killed in action or died, more than 23,000 were wounded and more than 30,000 were taken prisoner of war. 

As part of this program, there are also plans to:

  • Expand the Saluting Their Service grants program by delivering an extra $10 million so local communities can honour the service and sacrifice of veterans, with a particular focus on commemorating the Second World War and beyond.
  • Increase the maximum amount available for community grants from $4,000 to $10,000 to ensure local communities can commemorate this important anniversary appropriately.
  • Invest up to $10 million to work with the Government of Papua New Guinea and local landowners on projects to commemorate the bonds between Australia and PNG from the Second World War, particularly around the Kokoda Track.
  • Roll out the second stage of the successful ANZAC 360 app with $154,000.