Skip to main content

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Announcement

The NSW War Memorials Register is undergoing essential maintenance and system upgrades. Submissions about war memorials and veterans are not being accepted at this time. Read more here. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Contents

Terms

Q: What is a war memorial?

For the purposes of the Register, we consider that a war memorial is an officially recognised or designated place, object, landscape element, monument, or structure, primarily designed and constructed to remember and commemorate those who have served in the Australian armed services.

Usually, an object or construction can be considered a war memorial when:

  • it is indicated on the object that it is a war memorial
  • it is named a war memorial
  • it is considered as a war memorial by the local community
  • it is acknowledged as a war memorial by the local RSL
  • it is regularly used as a place of gathering during remembrance services, such as on Anzac Day

If you are unsure whether an item, structure, or object is a war memorial, please refer to our glossary of terms for examples or contact us.

Please note, the majority of the content published on the Register has been contributed by members of the public and other community organisations and therefore may include war memorials that do not neatly fit into this guideline.

Q: What is a memorial form or type? 

War memorials can take many shapes, ranging from simple plaques to more elaborate monuments or objects. Some common forms of war memorials include:

  • honour rolls, boards, and plaques
  • obelisks and cenotaphs
  • statues and stones
  • community halls and swimming pools
  • trees and avenues of honour

For the purposes of the Register, we have developed a glossary of terms to assist with describing memorials. If you are unsure what form the memorial you are interested in is, you can refer to our glossary as a guide. Please note, this is not intended as a definitive list and we acknowledge others may use different lists of forms.

Q: What conflicts does the Register cover?

The Register includes memorials to conflicts in which Australia has been involved. We follow the advice of the Australian War Memorial and include the below conflict periods:

  • Colonial period, 1788–1901
  • Sudan, March–June 1885
  • South African War (Boer War), 1899–1902
  • China (Boxer Rebellion), 1900–01 
  • First World War, 1914–18
  • Second World War, 1939–45
  • Occupation of Japan, 1946–51
  • Korean War, 1950–53
  • Malayan Emergency, 1950–60 
  • Indonesian Confrontation, 1963–66
  • Vietnam War, 1962–75 
  • Iraq: the First Gulf War, 1990–91
  • Afghanistan, 2001–present
  • Iraq: the Second Gulf War, 2003–09
  • Peacekeeping, 1947–present

Q: What is a custodian and how can I find the custodian of a particular memorial?

Custodians own, maintain, or take responsibility for the management of a memorial. They are often local councils, RSL sub-Branches, committees, or property owners.

To identify the custodian of a memorial, we recommend you start by contacting the above groups associated with the memorial you are interested in.

Please note, the Register does not hold a list of up-to-date custodians, and we are not the custodian of any of the memorials listed on this website.

About the NSW War Memorials Register (Register)

Q: Where can I find out more about the Register?

Information about the Register including its purpose, history and editorial policy is available on the About the Register page.

Q: Can I book a venue via the Register or make an enquiry about one of the venues listed on the Register?

No. You cannot enquire about or book a function at any of the listed venues through the Register. The Register is a database of war memorials, and does not own, maintain, or hold any responsibility for the operations of any of the venues listed.

Please contact the owner or custodian of the relevant venue directly, for enquiries such as function bookings, opening hours, exhibitions, or access. Custodians are often local councils, RSL sub-Branches, committees, or property owners.

Q: Does the Register accept donations of physical items, such as medals?

No. The Register is a database, and does not maintain a physical collection of objects, materials, or memorabilia. You could consider contacting the below organisations about donating military related items. Please note, their individual collection policies will apply:

Q: Can the Register help me physically add a name to a war memorial?

No. The Register is a database of war memorials, and does not own or maintain any of the memorials listed on this website.

We recommend you contact the custodian of the memorial directly to discuss your request. Custodians are often local councils, RSL sub-Branches, committees, or property owners. Also see the 'Caring for and maintaining memorials' section below.

If you are successful in adding a name to a memorial, and the memorial is listed on the Register, you can request to update the memorial record using our online submission form. Refer to the 'Contributing new veterans to the Regsiter' section on our How can I contribute? page. 

Q: Can the Register help me research my family member who is a veteran? 

No. The Register is not a research service. We do not conduct research into the military service of family members or individual veterans. A list of resources to assist you to conduct research is available on our Researching war memorials and veterans page. If you know that your family member is listed on a war memorial in NSW, you can search the Register to see if the war memorial is listed on our database. Also see the 'Searching the Register' section below.

Q: How can I contact the Register?

See our Contact Us page for our email address and phone number.

Searching the Register

Q: How do I search for a memorial on the Register?

There are two ways to search for a memorial on the Register:

By suburb or postcode:

Find the relevant memorial record using our simple suburb search. Remember to click the clear button before you begin. If you type a suburb, a list of matches will appear. Select the best match and click search. A list of memorials within that suburb or postcode will display. Click on the names in the list to view the memorial.

The map gives you a visual representation of the spread of memorials around your search area. Click on a red pin to see the name of that memorial and a small image of it. Please note, as multiple memorials can be in the one location, only one pin will show for that location. 

By name:

Use the ‘Search for’ box on our homepage. Scroll down to directly above the map section. Enter the name of the memorial in the search box, tick the ‘Memorial’ checkbox and click search. A list of results will display on a new page.

Please note, war memorials can be known by multiple names. If you are unable to find the memorial on the Register using a name, try searching by suburb or postcode as described above.

If you are still unsuccessful, please consider adding the memorial to the Register. See the ‘Contributing a new memorial or veteran to the Register’ section below.

Q: How can I search for a veteran on the Register?

The Register includes pages for veterans who are recorded on a NSW war memorial. Use the ‘Search for’ box on our homepage to look for them. Scroll down to directly above the map section. Enter the name of the veteran in the search box, tick the ‘Veterans’ checkbox and click search. A list of results will display on a new page.

Please note, the Register contains more than 200,000 veteran records, the majority of which are incomplete or contain limited information. It may be difficult to quickly and accurately identify the veteran you are looking for.

Tips:

  • Please keep in mind, we ask contributors to record veteran names as they appear on the memorial. This may mean a veteran’s name is spelt differently on a memorial, when compared to other records.
  • Try searching by surname to begin with, then adding first names or initials.
  • Use the filters on the right-hand side to refine the search results.

If you know where in NSW the veteran has been commemorated, try searching for a memorial instead. See the above question ‘How do I search for a memorial on the Register?’

  • On the memorial’s page, scroll to the bottom to review the veterans table (if any).
    • If you find the veteran, scroll to the right in the table and click ‘View’ to read the details we have been provided.
    • If you know more about them, you can update their record. See the below question ‘How can I update information on a veteran’s page on the Register?’
    • If you do not find the veteran in the table, and you are certain they are listed on that memorial, you can request we add them to the table. See the below question ‘How do I add a name to the veterans table on an existing memorial record on the Register?’
    • If there is no veterans table, it means a transcription of the memorial has not yet been provided to the Register. Please consider transcribing the memorial and adding these valuable details to the Register. See the ‘Updating a memorial or veteran record on the Register’ section below.

You may be able to find more information about the veteran, such as alternate spellings of their name, via their service records. More information may increase your success searching the Register. We recommend using the resources listed on our Researching war memorials and veterans page.

Photography

Q: How do I photograph a memorial?

You must have at least one high-quality, clear photograph of the memorial in its entirety to submit a new or updated memorial to the Register. We strongly encourage you to read our comprehensive How to photograph a war memorial page for helpful information and tips, before you begin documenting the memorial.

Q: What image file types do you accept and what is the maximum file size?

Specifications:

  • Images should be in jpeg, png, or gif format only.
  • Images must be less than 8MB but as large and clear as possible.
  • The image size of photos you upload should be at least 2 Megapixels in size, or approximately 1600×1200 pixels.

Q: How will my images be used?

Any images submitted to the Register are subject to review under our Editorial Policy and reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution. We reserve the right to exclude or edit any photo submitted, without notice.

Caring for and maintaining war memorials

Q: I am concerned about the physical condition of a memorial listed on the Register. What can I do?

Firstly, document your concerns by taking detailed notes and photographing the memorial. Most concerns about war memorials will relate to one of the below categories. Once you have gathered your information, you may wish to approach the custodian or manager of the memorial. 

  • Cleaning - biological growth (e.g. moss) or staining
  • Damaged structure or stonework
  • Inscription - lettering is missing, fading or damaged
  • Lost/missing memorial
  • Security
  • Setting - area surrounding war memorial
  • Vandalism e.g. theft, graffiti

Q: Are there programs or grants available for communities or organisations to assist with caring for and maintaining war memorials?

Yes. The NSW Office for Veterans Affairs (OVA) delivers the Community War Memorials Fund, which awards grants of up to $10,000 to help conserve, repair, and protect war memorials in New South Wales. War memorials must be recorded on the Register to be eligible for funding. Find out more about the fund at the NSW OVA’s website.

Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants are also available through the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA), to fund war memorial projects. 

Funding to care for memorials may also be available through the relevant local council or the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Q: How can I physically add a name to an existing war memorial?

A war memorial is a piece of local history and they are often extremely culturally valuable. Changes to war memorials, particularly historic war memorials, should be approached with caution. They should be sensitive to the war memorial’s original fabric and intention. It may or may not be appropriate to physically add a name to a war memorial. You should consult key stakeholders, such as the owner or custodian of the memorial, the local council, and the RSL sub-Branch for advice before planning any work to a war memorial. 

For more information, please refer to the Caring for our war memorials guide. You can also read about adding names and plaques to existing war memorials in the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs Fact Sheet. If you would like to discuss further, please contact the NSW OVA on (02) 8061 9288. 

Veterans’ families can apply for official commemoration, in the form of a memorial plaque, from the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Find out more at the DVA’s website.