Australian war graves and overseas memorials

 

Within the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the main roles of the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) are to:

  • provide final commemorations for Australians who have died in war or after a war of causes related to their war service
  • act as the agent of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
  • build and maintain overseas memorials that remember Australian service in wars, conflicts and peace operations

In Australia

Open grounds of a cemetery surrounded by trees

Adelaide River War Cemetery, 116km south of Darwin in the Northern Territory has 435 Commonwealth burials, many of which are associated with the bombing of Darwin in 1942

The OAWG manages war cemeteries and plots. We also care for more than 325,000 official commemorations in cemeteries and crematoriums around the country.

War cemeteries

Rows of grave white gravestones with small shrubs grown in between

Townsville War Cemetery in Queensland contains 222 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War

Of the more than 103,000 Australians who have died in war, more than 12,000 died in Australia as a result of their service in the First and Second World Wars. They are commemorated in one of 72 Commonwealth war cemeteries or plots.

The OAWG maintains Tatura German War Cemetery and Cowra Japanese War Cemetery for the German and Japanese governments.

An elderly women knees down at a grave site reaching out to the base of the gravestone

Albury War Cemetery in New South Wales has 96 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War

Civil cemeteries and crematoriums

The OAWG has provided official commemoration for more than 320,000 Australians who have died of causes related to their war service. These commemorations are in more 2200 civil cemeteries or crematoriums at the request of the veteran or their family.

As an example of our work, we recently renovated the 'Old Army' Anglican Section of Rookwood General Cemetery 1888 to 1968.

Search for a veteran's official commemoration

Gardens of remembrance

A perspective view of large plaque down to a path in a garden

South Australian Garden of Remembrance, located in Adelaide's Centennial Park, remembers the service of thousands of South Australians

Some veterans choose not to have their service remembered on their final commemoration. OAWG can place their official commemoration in a Garden of Remembrance. These gardens are in all Australian capital cities and also in Townsville and Launceston.

Every Australian who dies during war is officially commemorated.

Find war dead from historic conflicts:

You can find details of Australians who died on active service with Australian and Allied forces through the Australian War Memorial:

  • Roll of Honour - commemorates members of the Australian armed forces who have died during or as a result of war service, or for post-1945 conflicts, warlike service, non-warlike service and some peacetime operations
  • Commemorative Roll - commemorates Australians who died during or as a result of service in wars, conflicts or operations for those were not members of the Australian armed forces

We commemorate those Australians with no known grave on a Memorial to the Missing, either in Australia or on memorials overseas. As with all official commemorations, Memorials to the Missing are cared for with respect and in perpetuity.

See details of Memorials to the Missing

War memorials

Most Australian towns and cities have a memorial that recognises the contribution of those who have served their nation in times of war. The responsibility for local war memorials rests with the communities that put them in place.

Contact state and local governments, councils or ex-service organisations for more information about these memorials.

The Places of Pride National Register of War Memorials is an initiative of the Australian War memorial. The website seeks to record the location and photographs of all war memorials in Australia.

Overseas war memorials

The OAWG maintains official Australian memorials in overseas locations in 16 countries. From time-to-time, it also builds new memorials.

Find out about:

Experience of Australians at war

In France, Malaysia and Thailand, official war memorials are co-located with interpretive centres or pavilions that explore the Australian experience of war in those locations:

Visitors looking at displays of an exhibition

Hellfire Pass Interpretive Centre remembers the cruelty endured by prisoners of war and local indentured labourers who constructed the Burma-Thailand Railway during the Second World War

Get in touch

Give us feedback

We encourage visitation to our war cemeteries and memorials and welcome your thoughts on their care and maintenance.

Make a donation

We gratefully accept donations to support the care of war graves, post-war official commemorations and official memorials.

If you have any questions or comments, you can contact us:

Phone: 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) (freecall)

Email: wargraves@dva.gov.au

Postal address:
Office of Australian War Graves
GPO Box 9998
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Find contact details for the OAWG's state and overseas offices


Last updated: 1 September 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Australian war graves and overseas memorials, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 3 December 2020, http://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/commemoration/sites-to-visit/war-graves-and-plaques
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