At the conclusion of the First World War in 1918, more than 416,000 Australians had enlisted for service. This figure is even more remarkable when noting that the nation’s population at that time was less than five million, and that Australia was one of only two countries that did not conscript combatants during the War.
As a result of Australia’s significant involvement in the Great War, many families still have a direct link to this conflict through the medals that their ancestors received for their service. Such medals are often treasured as heirlooms and handed down from one generation to the next. By virtue of being a Dominion of the British Empire at the time, Australians were eligible for a wide variety of Imperial honours and awards. The three medals below were by far the most common.