War Service

From the shores of Gallipoli to the sprawling Western Front, the stories told here reveal the powerful war experiences of ordinary soldiers. Some were decorated for bravery in the field, while others made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Mint

These stories relate to men who worked at the Sydney branch of the Royal Mint in Macquarie Street.

Justice & Police Museum

From the collections comes a rich story about a policeman offset by stories from the other side of the law: returned servicemen whose mugshots appear in the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive.

Dual mugshot in black and white; man seated and then man standing, with white naval cap on.

A dubious defence

On 19 October 1921 Herbert Burridge was listed in the New South Wales Police Gazette as a deserter from HMAS Cerberus

Two photos side by side; man seated and man standing, with hat on.

Fallen hero of Flanders

In 1922, petty criminal Arthur Ernest Noonan was arrested by Sydney police to face charges of conspiracy to defraud

Two photos side by side, first showing seated man, second showing man standing, with hat on.

Returned from active service

In July 1921 James Arthur Banfield was arrested by Sydney police, photographed and charged on three counts of larceny

Full length police photo of man in suit and hat, standing in front of chair.

Sensational car chase

John Talbot Wright was arrested on 11 September 1920 after a sensational car chase through city streets


Stories from Meroogal animate the faded photographs of uniformed men that can still be seen on walls and mantelpieces in that house.

Rouse Hill Estate

Rouse Hill House holds a wealth of photographs and personal mementos of the war service of men and women connected with the house and the family. This includes a number of objects that reveal the close relationships between the families associated with the house and the Pearce family, particularly Norman Pearce and his fiancée, Kathleen Rouse.

Susannah Place

Susannah Place is represented by a suite of stories centred on Ada Gallagher, who saw all three of her beloved sons go to war.

Published on 


Frayed at edges, certificate with red cross symbol in ornate diagram at top, and cursive script below.

Home Front

As the war stretched on, thousands of women at home in Australia supported the war effort by volunteering for patriotic fundraising activities

Group of men in formation in middle ground of large open area with buildings behind.

Enemy Within?

These stories explore the threat to Australia from within, from the identification of a section of the population as ‘enemy aliens’ to the formation of the jingoistic Anti-German League, and the radical ideology and activities of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Closeup view of memorial.


Hear the poignant personal stories behind battlefield grave markers in Egypt, France and Gallipoli, as well as the stories behind workplace honour rolls, one of the most common, but often hidden, forms of war memorial in Australia