While the Australian Army Tank Museum may not have enough staff to research family records, here's a little nudge in the right direction. Below you will find links to several institutional databases which deal with the personal files of Australian Defence Force members.
Note: Knowing the family members full name, date of birth and Service/PmKeys number really improves the efficiency of a search. These can be found on the individual's military documents or stamped into the rim/back of any medals awarded to the member. To identify medals, please see the University of Melbourne's Medal Identification chart.
A PMKeyS/Service number is the personnel number used by the Department of Defence to identify individual soldiers. Military personnel who enlisted prior to the 2000s will have a service number, while military personnel who enlisted after the 2000s will have a PMKeyS number.
(>1870) Army Museum Ogilby Trust (UK)
Until 1870, British Infantry Regiments garrisoned the Australian colonies. After 1870, many British soldiers continued to support or joined the various colonial units, which is why colonial or Australian Army records will refer to an individual's prior British service. Such personal files must be sought from British records. See the Army Museum Ogilby Trust website.
(>1901) State Archives
Prior to Australia's federation, each colony maintained their own military forces. The records of soldiers who served in these forces will be found in the appropriate state archive.
Victoria State Library website
Museum's Victoria website
Naval Brigade (1859-1901)
Victorian Volunteer Forces (1854-1884)
Permanent Naval Forces (1867-1901)
Victorian Artillery (1870-1901)
Victorian Militia Force (1884-1901)
Victorian Mounted Rifles (1885-1901)
Victorian Rangers (1888-1901)
(1899-1945) National Archives of Australia
The National Archives of Australia holds the personal files of soldiers who served between 1899 to 1945, some of which have been digitised and are available online. See the National Archives of Australia website for more details.
(<1953) Defence Archives
The Defence Archives holds the personal files of soldiers who served in the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) and all conflicts since 1953. Furthermore, the Defence Archives also holds records for members who enlisted or were commissioned into the Regular Army from 1948 onwards, including those who did not see active service.
Please direct your enquiries to
GPO Box 225
QUEENSCLIFF VIC 3225