What is the Site All About?

People, Memorial Roll, Courses.

The 1 W.A.G.S. Memorial website is primarily about People - RAAF recruits who came from all over Australia, from all different walks of life to train as Wireless Operators, Air Gunners and Navigators at the purpose-built Ballarat air base. 

The site recognises the courage displayed and sacrifice made by these airmen while serving their country during WW2. 

The list of names includes those who were Killed in Action and In Active Service during WW2 as well as those who completed their service and were Discharged. 

The Memorial Roll commemorates over 1,100 1WAGS trainees who died, with a Profile page containing personal and service history, records and photos [if available]. There are links to Cemeteries/Memorials and other sites relative to each serviceman. 

A Statistics section has been included as well as an Abbreviation list for the Memorial Roll and Courses. 

As 1 W.A.G.S. was a training school, RAAF personnel were grouped in Courses. There were 58 W.A.G.S. and 12 Navigator Courses with over 6000 trainees listed. All trainees K.I.A or Discharged have an individual profile page. 

Included are examples of Course assessments and what the courses involved.

It should be noted that due to the age of some records, particularly the 1 W.A.G.S. P.O.R’s [ Personnel Occurrence Reports 1940-1946] some trainees and information may have been omitted from a Course and or Memorial Roll.

How do I use the Search box?

Enter SURNAME, and Service No. [if known] and click on SEARCH. If the Name is listed on the website it will be included in the PEOPLE section and then in COURSES. If the person was KILLED, it will be included in the MEMORIAL ROLL.

How do I add a Name to the People/ Memorial Roll/ Courses section?

To add a name to any of the above sections go to the CONTACT US section and follow the instructions of contact by either phone or email. As much information as possible is required to verify and warrant inclusion in the site.

How do I add a photo and or information?

To add a photo and  or information about a serviceman go to the CONTACT US section and follow the instructions. Photos will require JPEG status to be down loaded into the site and both photos and information needs to be via email.

How do I know the Profile page information is correct?

All information on the Profile Pages has been sourced from reliable sites as outlined  in the MEMORIAL ROLL/ COURSES sections of the site. Where available these sites and sources have been included as Links in each section and in the LINKS section of the site.

What if I don't want my relative's information to be included on this web site?

All serviceman’s information included in this site has been sourced from other websites and as such is not ‘new’ information online. However, if we are asked to delete a name, we would require a reasonable reason as to ‘why’ and verification from the relative as to their identity. Go to the CONTACT Us section and follow the instructions.

Can I print a serviceman's Profile Page?


What should I do if I find an error?

If you have found a verified error, please go to the CONTACT US section and follow the instructions.

How have Statistics in the MEMORIAL ROLL section been generated?

Statistics have been generated from the MEMORIAL ROLL data base using the known available information at the time. There are names in some areas of the Profile page which have little or no information due to availability. We welcome any further details that can be added. The Statistics page is to provide an overall insight into the MEMORIAL ROLL list collectively, and we hope to educate and encourage discussion from these statistics.

How do I access a digital record on the NAA?

To access the status of a serviceman’s record on the National Archives click on the link below. https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/NameSearch.aspx
Type serviceman’s SURNAME [ this is a requirement and must be known, unclick the Use Exact Spelling box if you are not sure of spelling.]
Type serviceman’s GIVEN NAMES if known [one is suitable and narrows the data base]
Click on the down arrow in the section SELECT A CATEGORY OF RECORDS and click on Australian Defence Forces Personnel Records.
Type in serviceman’s SERVICE No. if known. [Not necessary if unknown]
Click on SEARCH

The site will take you to the RECORD SEARCH section for the serviceman and gives Access Status. OPEN and NOT YET EXAMINED indicate that the record hasn’t been Digitized [payment is required] A DIGITIZED Copy has a book icon in the right-hand corner of the Record. Click on this icon to open record and view pages.

History of 1 W.A.G.S. Ballarat

The site gives a comprehensive overview of the history of the training school, firstly at the Ballarat Show Grounds and later at the Ballarat aerodrome. This being the first RAAF base in Australia to provide aircrew to the RAF as part of the Empire Training Scheme. Documentation and photos have been included from numerous sources. 

The important role Ballarat played in hosting the base and supporting the trainees is recorded using several newspaper articles from the Ballarat Courier and Trove during the 1940's.

Descriptions of the daily life of a trainee are given by 1 W.A.G.S. graduates sourced from photos, poems, articles and testimonials. This included recreational activities, sports, concerts and visits to Ballarat community groups and family homes.

Trainees also focused on what the Courses involved both at Ballarat [Wireless and Navigator] and Sale [Air Gunner and Bomber].

A profile of Wing Commander Fairbairn who established the school and was the Commanding Officer from 1940-1945 are included.


National Archives of AustraliaUBC Web DesignCity of BallaratAPCO AlfredtonDepartment of Veterans+39 AffairsAustralian War MemorialRSL Virtual War Memorial