Friday, May 8, 2015

New South Wales State Records: government employees who served in WWI

Official figures published in annual reports of NSW Government departments soon after the end of World War I, show that there were at least 11,033 Government employees who were granted military leave from 1914-1918. This number comprises 8,477 Railways and Tramways employees,[1] 2,336 public servants (those employed under the provisions of the Public Service Act),[2] and 217 from the Police Department.[3] The figures include both permanent and temporary employees, but exclude casual and contract staff of which there are no known official figures for the period. It is important to note that not all of those who were granted leave were accepted into the military, and not all those who were accepted were sent abroad.

Of the 11,033 government employees listed, 1,659 of them were killed in action, with the highest number predictably coming from Railway and Tramway employees (1,210),[4] followed by public servants (400),[5] and policemen (49)[6]. According to departmental annual reports, the total number of Government employees including public servants, police, and railways/tramways employees up to 30 June 1919, was 66,362.

Our new online index, NSW Government employees granted military leave 1914-1918, includes approximately 10,000 individual names across 13,134 entries. These details were taken from resources and records kept at the Western Sydney Records Centre.