World War I remains Australia’s most costly conflict in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of less than five million, over 400,000 men enlisted, of whom more than 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. The main areas where Australian troops saw action were Gallipoli, the Middle East and the Western Front.
In total, 32,231 Western Australians enlisted for service in World War I, about one third of all men aged 18-41. Western Australians received 10 of the 64 Victoria Crosses awarded to members of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).
In 2014 to mark the centenary of the commencement of World War I, the State Library digitised materials from its collections relating to this conflict. The State Library holds many records relating to Western Australia’s participation in World War I, including letters, diaries, photographs, books, ephemera, newspapers, serials and oral histories, some of which can be viewed in this Collection and the remainder can be found in the Catalogue.