War Cemeteries within Australia
The Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) cares for the perpetual commemorations of Commonwealth forces of the First and Second World Wars in 72 Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) war cemeteries and plots around Australia. This resource explores these cemeteries.
OAWG also cares for over 325,000 official commemorations in more than 2300 cemeteries, crematoriums and commemorative sites around Australia.
You can locate records of the men and women who:
- died in the two world wars and are commemorated by the Commonwealth – Find war dead
- died during a war, conflict or peace operation since World War II, or after their war service from causes attributed to it – Search for commemorations
If you need more help, see Researching Australians at war.
About our work
Many Australians travelling overseas visit Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) war cemeteries where Australian service personnel are buried or commemorated. There are also more than 70 comparable CWGC cemeteries here in Australia, as well as memorials to 1033 missing personnel.
In Australia, the Office of Australian War Graves, as the agent of the CWGC in Australia maintains nearly 12,000 commemorations of our War Dead. Most of these are within the war cemeteries and plots listed in this resource. Others are in more than 2,300 cemeteries, crematoriums and cemeteries around Australia.
War cemeteries containing the graves of Commonwealth service personnel and, in some cases, Allied and enemy military dead are located in or near each capital city, except Canberra. The German Military Cemetery in Tatura, Victoria, contains the graves of 250 German war dead. The Japanese War Cemetery at Cowra, New South Wales, contains the graves of 523 Japanese war dead.
The larger CWGC war cemeteries throughout the world are characterised by monuments such as a Stone of Remembrance, which indicates that the cemetery contains more than 1000 war graves. There is only one Stone of Remembrance in Australia, at the Sydney War Cemetery.
A Cross of Sacrifice — the size of which varies with the number of war graves in the cemetery — is present in all cemeteries with 50 or more war graves. Most war cemeteries also contain a register which records the names of those buried or commemorated in the war cemetery.
In addition to maintaining war cemeteries, the Office also holds the burial and commemoration details of the Commonwealth war dead of the two world wars and Australia’s war dead from Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and other conflicts in which Australia has been involved post-World War II. A historical notice at each war cemetery site describes the circumstances that gave rise to the cemetery.
New South Wales
Sydney War Cemetery, Memorial to the Missing and the NSW Cremation Memorial
Located within the Rookwood Necropolis, the Sydney War Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing is Australia’s largest war cemetery. This cemetery has the only Stone of Remembrance in an Australian war cemetery. This stone was intended for transportation to the Ambon War Cemetery in Indonesia but difficulties at the time prevented its shipment and it has remained in Sydney.
The Sydney War Cemetery contains 744 war graves, made up of 85 sailors, 20 soldiers, 16 airmen and one Merchant Navy sailor of the UK Forces, 33 sailors, 489 soldiers and 86 airmen of the Australian Forces, one sailor and one airman of the NZ Forces, one French sailor and one civilian (died while in the employment of the Admiralty).
The Memorial to the Missing honours 741 dead. A further 199 names of men and women of the Armed Forces whose remains were cremated appear on the Cremation Memorial.
The cemetery was established by the military authorities in 1942 as the last resting place of service men and women who gave their lives in Australia during WW2. It contains mainly the graves of those who died in the Concord Military Hospital of wounds received in operational areas, sickness or accident. The United Kingdom Forces casualties died while prisoners-of-war in Japanese hands and were cremated. After the war, the Army Graves Service arranged for their ashes to be brought by HMAS Newfoundland to Sydney for interment. The cemetery was taken over by the Commission in December 1946.
The Sydney War Cemetery was entered on the Register of the National Estate on 21 October 1986.
Albury War Cemetery
During WW2, Albury was the location of a major Army base for Allied troops, ordnance and supplies. It also contained a Military Base Hospital which serviced the large military population in the area.
Located within the Albury General Cemetery, the Albury war Cemetery contains 96 war graves, including two men of the Royal Navy. The other 94 burials are those of soldiers and airmen of the Australian Forces, most of whom died from war-related injury, illness or accident. A Cross of Sacrifice stands in the central path, flanked by the marble headstones on each side.
Newcastle (Sandgate) War Cemetery
Located within the Sandgate General Cemetery on the Pacific Highway and has 73 burials. Included in the burials are four men of the Royal Navy.
The city of Newcastle was a strategic military site both as a centre for heavy industry and as a busy seaport. The area was also a major staging area for AIF Divisions and supported some of the largest concentrations of troops in Australia throughout the war. The Australian Second Army, including the 1st, 9th and 28th Brigades and the 3rd Army Tank Brigade were based on the outskirts of Newcastle, the 4th Armoured Brigade in Singleton and three Artillery Training Regiments at Greta.
On 8 June 1942, Newcastle came under attack from a Japanese submarine.
Wagga Wagga War Cemetery
Located within the Wagga Wagga General Cemetery on Kooringal Road. The war cemetery contains 83 burials, 43 airmen and 40 soldiers, including a post-war burial.
The No 2 Service Flight Training School of the RAAF and other military training facilities, including the Army School of Military Engineering, were based in the area. Of the 40 soldiers buried in the war cemetery, 26 died on 21 May 1945 in a hand grenade training accident.
Cowra (Australian) War Cemetery
The Cowra (Australian) War Cemetery contains 27 war graves. Of these, four died during the break-out at the prisoner-of-war camp in August 1944. Two of those soldiers were awarded the George Cross for their actions during that incident. Buried in the Cowra General Cemetery are six Australian Army casualties of WW2 and one from WW1.
Cowra Japanese Military Cemetery
Adjacent to the Australian War Cemetery is the Japanese War Cemetery. The CWGC holds responsibility and title for this site. The Commission accepted the maintenance responsibility in 1964 and the Japanese Government the cost of its care. The 523 Japanese graves are those of prisoners of war who died in the attempted break-out from Cowra in 1944, Japanese aircrews shot down in Northern Australia and Japanese civilian internees who died in Australia during WW2.
Adelaide River War Cemetery and Northern Territory Memorial to the Missing
A total of 434 war graves marked by bronze plaques are contained in this cemetery. The burials are made up of 14 airmen of the RAF, 12 unidentified men of the British Merchant Navy; one soldier of the Canadian Army; 18 sailors, 182 soldiers and 201 airmen of the Australian Forces and seven men of the Australian Merchant Navy. The Northern Territory Memorial to the Missing honours a further 292 service men and women lost to the north of Australia.
The adjacent civil section contains the graves of the nine Post Office staff killed on 19 February 1942 during the bombing of Darwin, one of 63 separate occasions from that date. The civilian casualties of WW2 include 31 First Australians.
During WW2, Adelaide River was the headquarters of a large base and the war cemetery was created especially for the burial of service personnel who died in this part of Australia. It was used by Australian General Hospitals Nos 101, 107, 119, 121 and 129 and after the war, the Army Graves Service moved into it other graves from isolated sites, temporary military burial grounds, and from various civil cemeteries in the area. The war cemetery was taken over by the Commission in September 1947.
The Adelaide River War Cemetery was entered on the Register of the National Estate in 1984.
Alice Springs War Cemetery
The main road running north to Darwin was built during World War II to facilitate the transport of supplies and war material to Australia’s most vulnerable area.
The Alice Springs War Cemetery contains the graves of one sailor, 24 soldiers and three airmen of the Australian Forces.
Lutwyche War Cemetery and Cremation Memorial
Brisbane became a naval base during WW2. Upon the entry of Japan into the war, fixed defences were provided and manned, and American detachments arrived and established themselves in Brisbane. In July 1942 the American Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, South West Pacific area, moved his headquarters from Melbourne to Brisbane to be nearer the scene of operations in Papua and New Guinea.
The Lutwyche War Cemetery has 386 war burials, with the war cemetery containing 347 of those burials. The majority of burials in the war cemetery are sailors, soldiers and airmen of the Australian Forces.
Bundaberg General Cemetery
The Bundaberg General Cemetery contains 30 war graves of soldiers and airmen of the Australian Forces and five airmen of the United States Army Air Corps. The No 12 Elementary Flying School RAAF and No 8 Service Flying Training School RAAF were located at Bundaberg during WW2.
Ipswich General Cemetery
Located within Ipswich General Cemetery, a triangular plot contains 68 burials and a Cross of Sacrifice stands at one of the triangular points. Many of the casualties resulted from air training accidents at the No 6 Aircraft Depot RAAF at Oakey and the Air Base at Amberley.
During WW2, a number of Australian units were stationed in the Brisbane-Ipswich area to reinforce the defences of this important seaport.
Rockhampton War Cemetery
Located within North Rockhampton Cemetery, the plot was acquired by the Army in 1943 and contains 36 graves: one airman of the Royal Air Force, 21 soldiers and 12 airmen of the Australian Forces, one Salvation Army member and one Young Men's Christian Association member.
During WW2, Rockhampton was host to a number of Allied forces. Australian troops were stationed in the Rockhampton-Maryborough area in 1941. In 1942, the 41st American Division moved from Melbourne before operations in the Solomons. In November 1942, the Commander of the 1st American Corps had his headquarters at Rockhampton.
Toowoomba War Cemetery
Toowoomba was conveniently placed for the establishment of Army and Air Force camps during WW2. The town was often used as a re-training facility for service men being sent to the Pacific Islands.
The war cemetery is situated in the Toowoomba Cemetery. Centrally located among the 44 graves is a Cross of Sacrifice. The burials are those of 34 soldiers, nine airmen and one post-war grave.
Townsville War Cemetery
The Townsville War Cemetery is situated within the Townsville Belgian Gardens Cemetery and contains 222 war graves. The burials consist of one sailor and one soldier of the UK Forces and nine sailors, 105 soldiers and 106 airmen of the Australian Forces.
During the war, Townsville was a RAAF Base and a base for the new American heavy bombers was constructed there. In 1941, it also became the base of an Area Combined Headquarters, established to ensure naval and air co-operation in trade defence in north-eastern Australia. It was one of the ports of embarkation for troops to New Guinea and the islands, and many transit camps and a Base Hospital for troops, evacuated through sickness and wounds from New Guinea, were in the vicinity.
Atherton War Cemetery
The Atherton War Cemetery adjoins the Atherton General Cemetery. The graves are in three plots, with a Cross of Sacrifice standing centrally at the far end. There are 151 soldiers and 12 airmen of the Australian Forces, plus one member of the Young Men’s Christian Association buried within the war cemetery.
The area between Atherton and Cairns was used extensively as a training ground during the war for Australian troops involved in action in New Guinea, Bougainville and the later landings at Aitape-Wewak, Tarakan, Labuan and Balikpapan. Australia's 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions were based in the Atherton region and from here the Air Force struck at the Japanese pressing down from the north and north-west.
Cairns War Cemetery
Located within the Cairns Cemetery, the Cairns War Cemetery contains the graves of 70 soldiers, 17 airmen and 10 sailors of the Australian Forces and one Netherlander sailor.
After the first Japanese raid on Darwin on 19 February 1942, a shuttle service of small merchant ships between Cairns and Darwin was introduced. Cairns was also an important Air Base from which two Catalina General Reconnaissance Bomber Squadrons (Nos 11 and 20) operated.
Charters Towers War Cemetery
During WW2 the area around Charters Towers accommodated a number of Army and RAAF units. Army troops were trained at Sellheim, including the 11th Infantry Brigade. After the Japanese entered the war in 1941, Sellheim became a Reinforcement Depot and troops from the Jungle Training Centre at Canungra were staged through to the Atherton Tablelands and New Guinea. It was also the site for a Supply Depot and Ammunition Company, as well as an Ordnance Depot and Army Workshop.
The 116 Australian General Hospital was in Charters Towers, with a Convalescent Depot at Sellheim.
At Macrossin, a United States Air Force School trained RAAF crews on Liberator bombers. The RAAF operated a base at Bedden from 1943 to 1947 after the US 38th Bombardment Group moved north.
Situated within the Charters Towers Cemetery, the Charters Towers War Cemetery contains the graves of 16 soldiers and 17 airmen of the Australian Forces. Four soldiers are buried in the civil cemetery.
Centennial Park War Cemetery and South Australian Cremation Memorial
Although there are 215 Service personnel buried in the Centennial Park Cemetery, 198 of these are buried in the Centennial Park War Cemetery, within the civil cemetery confines. The war cemetery was established by the Army in 1942 for the burial of those who died of wounds in military hospitals after return from an operation, as well as those who died of sickness or accident.
The war cemetery was taken over by the Commission in 1946. The majority of the burials are those of soldiers of the Australian Forces.
Mallala War Cemetery
Located on the south-west corner of Mallala General Cemetery in Dublin Road, it contains the graves of 12 airmen of the Royal Australian Air Force. The No 6 Service Flying Training School of the RAAF was located at Mallala during WW2.
Port Pirie General Cemetery
The No 2 Bombing and Air Gunnery School of the RAAF was based at Port Pirie during WW2. Most of the RAAF casualties buried here died in air training accidents.
Located within the Port Pirie General Cemetery in Morphett Road, the war cemetery contains 22 graves of soldiers and airmen of the Australian Forces.
Hobart War Cemetery and Tasmania Cremation Memorial
The Hobart War Cemetery contains 51 war graves, among them nine ex-service men of the 1914-18 War who died during WW2. Another 24 war graves are scattered throughout the Cornelian Bay Public Cemetery.
Launceston War Cemetery
The Launceston War Cemetery is situated within the Carr Villa General Cemetery. The war cemetery contains 18 graves and a further 39 war graves lie in the Carr Villa General Cemetery. The war graves are those of four sailors, 25 soldiers and 10 airmen of the Australian Forces.
Bairnsdale War Cemetery
Located within the Bairnsdale Public Cemetery the Bairnsdale War Cemetery contains the graves of 38 Australian airmen who died through illness or flying accidents while training. A Cross of Sacrifice stands at the far end.
Sale War Cemetery
The Sale War Cemetery contains the graves of 59 Australian service men, of whom 56 were airmen from the RAAF Station at East Sale. The remaining two were soldiers. A Cross of Sacrifice stands in the centre of the area.
Springvale War Cemetery and the Victorian Cremation Memorial
Located within the Springvale Necropolis, the Springvale War Cemetery contains 612 war graves, made up of six sailors, four soldiers and two airmen of the U.K. Forces; 25 sailors, 388 soldiers and 182 airmen of the Australian Forces; one member of the Salvation Army (attached to the Australian Military Force); one member of the YMCA (attached to the RAAF) and three sailors and one soldier of the Netherlands Force. The names of 72 Service personnel whose remains were cremated appear on the Cremation Memorial near the cemetery.
During the early months of WW2, the land the cemetery occupies was set aside for the burial of men and women of the Services dying in the Melbourne area, by agreement between the Minister for the Army and the Necropolis Trust. Many of those buried there died of wounds in the Heidelberg Military Hospital after return from operational areas, others from sickness and accident.
Mildura War Cemetery
Located within the Mildura Public Cemetery, the Mildura War Cemetery contains the graves of 49 airmen and soldiers of the Australian Forces. The majority of the graves are airmen killed in aircraft training accidents. During the war at the RAAF Station at Mildura, the No 2 Operational Training Unit for fighters introduced a most effective form of gunnery known as ‘shadow’ shooting.
Tatura German Military Cemetery
This cemetery contains the graves of 250 German service men and civilian internees.
A memorial located within the cemetery records the names of 27 Germans buried elsewhere in Australia and also commemorates 129 Catholic and 45 Protestant Missionaries. The cemetery is maintained by the OAWG, on behalf of the CWGC, for the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Perth War Cemetery and the Western Australian Cremation Memorial
The Perth War Cemetery contains 493 war graves, including 16 from the First World War. The burials comprise 14 sailors, one soldier and one airman of the UK Forces; one British Merchant Navy seaman; one man of the Royal Canadian Navy; 23 sailors, 349 soldiers and 78 airmen of the Australian Forces; one sailor and six soldiers of the NZ Forces; one man of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps and two men of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
The cemetery was established by the Army in 1942 for those who died on service during WW2 of wounds in the Hollywood Military Hospital after returning from operational areas. The cemetery was taken over by the CWGC in 1949.
The headstones in the war cemetery are a distinctive grey granite, mined locally in Perth.
Perth War Cemetery Dutch Annexe
Adjoining the war cemetery is an enclosure known as the Perth War Cemetery Dutch Annexe where four sailors of the Netherlands Navy and 21 Netherlander civilians are buried. They were evacuated from Java in February 1942 but the seaplanes carrying them were sunk by Japanese aircraft in Broome Harbour.
Geraldton War Cemetery
The war cemetery adjoins the Geraldton Civil Cemetery. During WW2, the No 4 Service Flying Training School of the RAAF was based in Geraldton. Most of the RAAF casualties died in air training accidents.
A Cross of Sacrifice stands at the southern end, facing the entrance. There are 83 burials, comprising 41 soldiers and 42 airmen, all of the Australian Forces.
Cemeteries by state or territory
Larger Commission cemeteries are located near our capital cities, however, there are many smaller war cemeteries and war plots all over Australia. We list all war cemeteries and plots here for your information.
New South Wales
Albury — 96 war graves
Bathurst — 18 war graves
Camden — 23 war graves
Casino — 3 war graves
Coffs Harbour — 2 war graves
Cootamundra — 6 war graves
Cowra — 27 war graves
Cowra (Japanese) — 523 war graves
Deniliquin — 29 war graves
Dungog — 2 war graves and 1 post-war grave
Evans Head — 25 war graves
Glen Innes — 5 war graves
Goulburn — 26 war graves
Greta — 20 war graves
Hay — 5 war graves
Kembla Grange — 12 war graves
Lismore — 2 war graves
Maitland East — 6 war graves
Muswellbrook — 6 war graves
Narrandera — 29 war graves
Narromine — 12 war graves
Newcastle — 73 war graves
Nowra — 35 war graves
Parkes — 18 war graves
Richmond — 25 war graves
Singleton — 3 war graves
Sydney — 734 war graves
Tamworth — 28 war graves
Temora — 10 war graves
Tenterfield — 8 war graves
Tocumwal — 18 war graves
Wagga Wagga — 82 war graves and 1 post-war grave
Wauchope — 2 war graves
Bairnsdale — 38 war graves
Ballarat — 12 war graves
Benalla — 11 war graves
Geelong East — 15 war graves
Hamilton — 4 war graves
Lake Boga — 7 war graves
Mildura — 49 war graves
Nhill — 7 war graves
Sale — 58 war graves
Seymour — 19 war graves
Shepparton — 10 war graves
Springvale — 611 war graves
Tatura (German) — 250 war graves
Wangaratta — 6 war graves
Atherton — 164 war graves
Bundaberg — 30 war graves and 5 US war graves
Cairns — 98 war graves
Charters Towers — 33 war graves
Gympie — 5 war graves
Ipswich — 68 war graves
Kingaroy — 22 war graves
Lutwyche — 347 war graves
Maryborough — 10 war graves
Rockhampton — 36 war graves
Toowoomba — 43 war graves + 1 post-war grave
Townsville — 222 war graves
Warwick — 21 war graves
Woombye — 26 war graves
Adelaide River — 434 war graves
Alice Springs — 28 war graves and 1 post-war grave
Barmera — 8 war graves
Centennial Park — 198 war graves
Mallala — 12 war graves
Mount Gambier — 4 war graves
Port Pirie — 22 war graves
Launceston — 18 war graves
Hobart — 42 war graves + 9 post-war graves
Geraldton — 83 war graves
Perth — 493 war graves
If you have any questions or comments, you can contact us:
Phone: 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 3726)
Office of Australian War Graves
GPO Box 9998
BRISBANE QLD 4001
Department of Veterans' Affairs