Lost Soldiers of South Melbourne

The Lost Soldiers of South Melbourne lists World War 1 soldiers who didn’t return home.

The St. Kilda Rifle Corps c1858 (Port Phillip City Collection)

Honor Board, South Melbourne Town Hall

The South Melbourne Council in 1920 conceived the idea of having an Honor Board with the names of those who were resident in South Melbourne at the time of their enlistment. The names came from the soldiers themselves or family members who applied for the Council's War Certificates. The list was open for a month and citizens were to inspect it and see that the names of their friends and relatives were properly enrolled. There were a number of problems with this method, a major one being that a considerable number of soldiers were not included on the list. So the list cannot be called exhaustive. The Honor Board is housed in the foyer at the eastern entrance of the South Melbourne Town Hall. The board has over 3000 names on it; those with a star next to their name were casualties.

In the alphabetical listing of the ‘Lost Soldiers of South Melbourne’ each name is followed by the date of embarkation, the name of the ship, the date of death, and the next of kin and their address.

Further research

To find more about any First World War soldier go to the Australian War Memorial website https://www.awm.gov.au/ enter the soldier’s name.  From that initial entry will be found - embarkation details, roll of honour (if deceased), Red Cross wounded and missing file, and a number of other entries. Occasionally there may be a photograph of the soldier.

For more information the next step is to look at the service personnel records.  These are at the National Archives of Australia enter the soldier’s name, and when found, click on view digitised item.  There is usually about 30 to 50 pages of information about the soldier’s life in the army.