08/12/2020 | Press release | Archived content
Ancestry.com.au announces free access to its collection of online Australia and New Zealand military records to commemorate 75 years since the end of the Second World War
12 August 2020, Sydney Australia: Saturday 15th August 2020 will mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War. To honour this date, Ancestry.com.au has announced it will provide the nation with free access to over 39 million Australian and New Zealand historic military records through 13th - 16th August, helping Australians discover if they have a family connection to those who served in the war.
The free access initiative is in support of the #OneInAMillion project launched earlier this month by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, that encourages the nation to pay tribute to those who served in the Second World War. Almost one million Australians served during the war, with connections to these veterans still to be discovered by many Australians today.
Ancestry's unrivalled online collection of historical documents, photos and family history records have helped Aussies unlock vivid journeys of their ancestors' lives during the war, including Linda:
Linda Allen, 66, Bunbury, Western Australia, recollects her father Sargent Finlay John Campbell's journey
'Finlay was a state athlete who was supposed to go to the Olympic Games but the war took over. Unfortunately, Finlay was taken and captured by the Germans. Later, he and a Canadian man stole a car and after travelling through Austria, France and Italy, they eventually found a plane that sent them back to England! Although he was faced with a dangerous journey of escape, we were all glad to have had him back. In 2015 we were contacted by an Austrian through Ancestry.com.au who we later discovered to be the granddaughter of Finlay's unknown Austrian daughter! Finlay had met a beautiful woman while at camp and had not known she became pregnant. We all keep in touch regularly with our newfound sister and granddaughter and have been over to Austria three times to visit them.'
Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel, The Hon Darren Chester MP, encouraged all Australians to share the courageous stories of these veterans:
'The impact of the Second World War on Australians was far-reaching and has surrounded us with many truly powerful and unique stories of service and sacrifice. I encourage all Australians to participate in the project ahead of the anniversary on the 15th of August by capturing and sharing their stories on social media with the hashtag #OneInAMillion.'
Brad Argent, family history expert at Ancestry, believes the free records will help people learn more about their personal history through the lens of their ancestors who fought in the war:
'As the global leader in family history, the unparalleled records available on Ancestry.com.au offer the perfect opportunity for people to find their #OneInAMillion and participate in remembering the country's military heroes. Whether you're an Australian citizen or have settled in this country from elsewhere, our hope is for every generation to learn about their veterans' sacrifice and keep their memory alive throughout the years.'
To find your 'One In A Million' military connection and start your free access period, visit Ancestry.com.au. To learn more about the Australian Government's commemorations and the #OneInAMillion campaign visit the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War page on the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.
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