Frequently asked questions

Definitions

Q: What is a war memorial?

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 further information, or contact us.

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

See our glossary of terms for a complete list.

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, 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, you can then email the Register to request the name be added to the veterans table on the memorial’s record on the Register.

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

Use the ‘Find a memorial’ search box on our homepage. Scroll down to the map section and enter the suburb or postcode in the search box. As you type, a list of matches will appear. Select the best match and click search. A map and a list of memorials within or near that suburb will display. Either click on the red pin to see the name of the memorial or refer to the list below the map.

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.

Contributing a new memorial or veteran to the Register

Q: I have found a memorial that is not listed on the Register. How can I register it?

To submit a new war memorial to the Register, you will need to create an online account. You can watch our helpful video, which walks you through this process.

Once you are logged in, click 'Contribute to the Register' at the top of the screen, then click Add or update a memorial.

Follow the steps in the online submission form to submit the required information about the memorial. See the below questions ‘What information do I need to have to submit a new memorial to the Register?’ and ‘How do I use the online submission form?’ for helpful information and tips.

Q: Why do I need to create an online account?

Creating an account will enable you to save draft versions of your submissions if you need to conduct further research about the war memorial or veteran. We may use the details you provide to contact you regarding your submission. Your personal data will never be shared publicly without your permission. You can read more about this in our privacy policy.

Q: What information do I need to have to submit a new memorial to the Register?

The minimum information required for a submission is:

  • The memorial’s name and location/address.
  • Information about what the memorial commemorates, particularly details about the conflict and/or veteran. 
  • A physical description of the memorial.
  • A transcription of any inscriptions on the memorial, including veterans’ names and relevant dates e.g. construction and dedication dates.
  • At least one high-quality, clear photograph of the memorial in its entirety. See the 'Photography' section below for important information.

All mandatory questions in the online submission form are marked with a red asterisk. If you are unsure how to answer some of the optional questions about the memorial, please leave the field blank, or conduct further research.

There are helpful tips next to most questions in the form, which provide guidance on where to find historical information about the memorial online. You can view these tips by placing your cursor over the blue question mark symbols. We also recommend using the resources on our Researching war memorials and veterans page.

Submissions that include sufficient information in the first instance are likely to be assessed faster. We will contact you by email for clarification on your submission, or for further information if required. 

Submissions that do not meet the above requirements may not be processed. 

Q: How do I use the online submission form?

Step-by-step instructions are available on our How can I contribute? page. We also have a helpful video, which walks you through completing each section of the memorial submission form. If you need more help along the way, please contact us.

Q: How do I add a name to the veterans table on an existing memorial record on the Register?

Download a copy of our veterans spreadsheet. Follow the instructions within the sheet and press 'Enable editing' and ‘Enable content’ when prompted. Refer to the example provided in the third row as a guide and fill in as much information as possible about your veteran in the fourth row. The minimum details required are first name, or first initial, and last name, as they appear on the memorial. Email us a copy of the spreadsheet and clearly state which memorial it belongs with in the subject line of the email.

Please note, the Register commemorates Australian service personnel only.

Updating a memorial or veteran on the Register

Q: I have noticed a memorial record is out-of-date. How can I update this record on the Register?

You can submit updates for existing memorial records to the Register via email. Please follow the guidelines below when preparing your submission: 

  • Send a separate email for each memorial record being updated.
  • Include the name currently listed on the Register in the subject line, so we can match your update to the correct memorial. You can propose a new name in your submission text.
  • Text can be included in an attached Word document or in the body of the email. We strongly recommend you use sub-headings, such as Description and Inscription, to clearly identify which part/s of the memorial listing you are updating.
  • Attach your images to the email as individual image files, rather than pasted into the Word document. See the ‘Photography’ section below for important information.
  • Confirm in the email you own the copyright or have sought permission from the copyright holder to use all photographs. If they were not taken by you, please state who the photographer was and what year it was taken e.g. Photos courtesy of Jane Smith, August 2020.

Please note, new memorial submissions are nor accepted via email. See the 'Contributing a new memorial or veteran to the Register' section above for this submission process. 

Q: How can I update information on a veteran’s page on the Register?

To update an existing veteran on the Register, you will need to create an online account. You can watch our helpful video, which walks you through this process.

Once you are logged in, find the veteran using our search function. See the above question 'How can I search for a veteran on the Register?' 

Once on the veteran's page, click 'Update this veteran' on the right-hand side. Follow the steps in the online submission form to submit the information. 

Do you have any photographs of the veteran, or copies of their service documents? See the below question 'I have a photograph, or a service document related to a veteran who is listed on the Register, can I send it to you?'

Q: I have noticed a memorial record is missing its veterans table or inscriptions. How can I add these details to the record?

Inscriptions

To add a transcription of the inscriptions on a memorial, please follow the steps outlined in the above question 'I have noticed a memorial record is out-of-date. How can I update this record on the Register?'

Veterans table

To add a veterans table to an existing memorial record, you will need an accurate transcription of all veterans listed on the memorial. Once you have this list, download a copy of our veterans spreadsheet. Follow the instructions within the sheet and press 'Enable editing' and ‘Enable content’ when prompted. Refer to the example provided in the third row as a guide and fill in as much information as possible about the veterans, starting from the fourth row. The minimum details required are first name, or first initial, and last name, as they appear on the memorial. Email us a copy of the spreadsheet and clearly state which memorial it belongs with in the subject line of the email.

Please note, the Register commemorates Australian service personnel only.

Q: I have a photograph, or a service document related to a veteran who is listed on the Register, can I send it to you?

The Register accepts high-quality, digital images/files only, not printed photographs or hardcopy documents.

Digital images/files commonly submitted include:

  • Portraits of a veteran in uniform.
  • Group portraits, where the position of the veteran in the group can be described easily e.g. back row, second from the left.
  • Legible enlistment/service documents.
  • Legible and brief correspondence from or directly about the veteran e.g. postcards or telegrams.

See the ‘Photography’ section below for important information and the above question ‘How can I add information to a veteran’s 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: Are there programs or grants available for communities or organisations to assist in 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 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.