Boer War

Date: 1899-1902

Boer War (1899-1902) South Australia was still a colony, and Australia not yet a nation, when the Boer War broke out in South Africa in 1899. The colonies of Australia each provided contingents. When the war was over the colonial contingents had been merged, reflecting Australia's emergence as a...

Boxer Rebellion (China)

Date: 1900-1901

During the early nineteenth century there was a strong demand for opium among the Chinese population and, despite China's reluctance to engage in trade, the major European powers used this demand to commence trading Chinese goods for opium. Trading centres were established at major ports such as...

World War 1

Date: 1914-1919 Places: Beersheba, Bullecourt, Dernancourt Fr, Dernancourt SA, Ieper (Ypres), Pozières, Warlencourt-Eaucourt, Zonnebeke

World War 1 scarred Australia to a degree that is hard to fathom today. From a population of less than 5 million, Australia raised an Army of 416,000 men, of whom 330,000 deployed overseas. In the four years of the war, more than 60,000 died, and three times that number were wounded, gassed or...

World War 2

Date: 1939-1945 Places: Darwin, Port Moresby

"Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war. No harder task can fall to the lot of a democratic leader...

Non Warlike

Date: 1945-2015

This entry is administrative only and serves to enable enlistment and discharge details outside of warlike and other specified service to be recorded.

Occupation Force Japan - BCOF

Date: 1945-1952

With the cessation of hostilities against Japan following VJ Day in August 1945, plans were put in place to form an Army of Occupation in Japan. The battalions raised to form the basis of this force were later to become the basis of Australia's new Regular Army. One of them became the basis of...


Date: 1947-2013 Places: Harare, Kigali

Australia has been a party to Peacekeeping operations since their inception in 1947, although generally on a small scale. Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Operations became a focus for Australia and its Defence Forces in the latter quarter of the 20th Century with a number of large scale...

Malayan Emergency

Date: 1950-1960

The post-WW 2 world from 1945-1960 was characterised by a process of 'de-colonisation' in Asia and Africa. Widespread insurrection and violent revolution resulted in some former colonies. Communist Soviet Union and China were behind many of these revolutionary groups with the aim of installing...

Korean War

Date: 1950-1953 Place: Gapyeong

The War in Korea was the first major test of the newly formed United Nations. When Communist North Korea invaded the democratic South in June 1950, the so-called 'Cold War' had split wide open. Australia was quickly drawn in as a foundation member of the United Nations. With RAAF RAN and Army...

Vietnam War

Date: 1962-1973

Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War will always be remembered for controversy and the divisions it caused in the community during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Vietnam was the only conflict in which Australia has deployed conscripted service personnel on active service overseas. And for...

Malaysia / Indonesia Confrontation

Date: 1963-1966

Also referred to as the Indonesian Confrontation, or 'Konfrontasi' in Bahasa, it was an undeclared war fought from 1962 to 1966 in response to the creation of an independent Federation of Malaysia. Sukarno, President of Indonesia, argued that the creation of Malaysia was an attempt by the British...

Iraq, The First Gulf War, 1990-91

Date: 1990-1991

Australian War Memorial On 2 August 1990 Iraq invaded its rival oil-exporting neighbour Kuwait. The invasion was widely condemned, and four days later the United Nations (UN) Security Council unanimously approved a trade embargo against Iraq. A blockade of Iraq’s access to the sea followed within...

Middle East Area of Operations

Date: 2001-2014

Australia had existed in a largely conflict-free environment from 1973 after its withdrawal from Vietnam until shortly after the invasion of Kuwait by Sadam Hussein's Iraq in 1990. Although not initially directly involved, these events began a sequence of incidents that culminated in the 2002...


Date: 2001-2014

Main image - Australian ASLAV and CH47 Chinook helicopter in support of operations Australian involvement in Afghanistan began with Prime Minister John Howard invoking the ANZUS Treaty in response to the Al Qaeda...

Iraq, The Second Gulf War, 2003-09

Date: 2003-2009

On 20 March 2003, a combined force of American, British and Australian troops under US leadership invaded Iraq in what was termed ‘the Second Gulf War’. Their object was to locate and destroy suspected ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Small but highly effective Australian army, air force and navy...

The Human Cost

A summary of South Australian casualties arising from conflicts in which Australia has been involved. The picture below is of the interior of the SA National War Memorial in Adelaide.


Click here for more information on the human cost.