Lieutenant Colonel Neil Smith: VAFHO Expo Speaker

Lt Col Neil Smith, AM, Retd was raised in Western Australia.  He spent 24 years in the Australian Regular Army with service throughout Australia and overseas including a tour of duty in South Vietnam.  He was later decorated for Explosive Ordnance Disposal work in the Solomon Islands.  Since resigning, Neil has pursued his passion for military history which started when he was stationed in the United Kingdom.  He established Mostly Unsung Military History Research and Publications and has published scores of unit histories and other works and articles on Australian military history plus undertaken much media work.  Neil has also researched in detail over 25,000 individual Australian and British service personnel, many for family historians.  Check his website at www.mostlyunsung.com.au .

Come and hear Neil presenting at the VAFHO Family History Expo in Sale at 1.30 pm, Saturday 21st April 2018.

Title:  Researching your World War One ancestors in Australia and the UK

Precis:  Over 230 years Australia has amassed a rich military heritage.  Australian Diggers – soldiers, sailors and airmen have served and sacrificed throughout Australia and overseas.  World War One (1914-18) had a huge impact on Australia and the half a million Australians who served from New Guinea to Gallipoli and especially France and Flanders.  Their stories are to be found in surviving archives which provide a unique resource for family historians.

Starting Your Research

First up, you need to know that you had a Digger in the family. Consider:

  • Name.  Get it right.  The Digger might have served under a slightly different name or be one of 15,000 who used an alias or 50,000 who served with British or other Allied Forces.
  • Service Number: Unless he or she was an officer every Digger had a service number.
  • Medals.  Most Diggers are issued medals for service in war and/or peace.  All Australian issued medals have impressed recipient details.

If you are serious about researching your Digger or stuck in a particular area, come to Neil’s presentation.

Submitted on behalf of Lieutenant Colonel Neil Smith : Speaker at the VAFHO Family History Expo, Sale, 21 April 2018.

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