Australians are standing ready to commemorate Anzac Day very differently this year due to COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings. Instead of attending the traditional commemorations held across the country, we will be remembering from home the sacrifice of those who served. The National Archives is making this year’s Anzac Day a little easier by encouraging all Australians to help keep the Anzac memory alive through its websites.
The National Archives safely holds the defence service records of those who served from every conflict Australia has been involved in from 1899 to 1975. Many hundreds of thousands of these records have been digitised and are available free of charge via the National Archives’ online collection database (recordsearch.naa.gov.au).
David Fricker, National Archives Director-General, explains, ‘Also available on our website is practical advice on how to find and interpret these digital records, from instructional videos to an explanation of the abbreviations used in the dossiers. It’s really very simple.’
The National Archives’ Discovering Anzacs website has published all service records from the Boer War and World War I. People can build their own tributes to individual service personnel by transcribing their service records and contributing stories, comments, photographs and news items. They can then share widely via social media.
‘This Anzac Day the National Archives is encouraging all Australians to honour from home those who served by ‘adopting-a-digger‘ and adding to their profile on Discovering Anzacs. This is a powerful way we can all contribute to the record and keep the memory alive,’ said Mr Fricker.