The National Archives of Australia and New Zealand Archives are rich sources of service and war records for the First World War. Their Discovering Anzacs website allows you to uncover the personal stories of service men and women through original archival records and dedicate a profile to their wartime journey.
In time for the centenary of the Gallipoli landings and to mark the contributions that Australia and New Zealand made to the war effort, we have begun to explore some of the stories connected to these two nations within our own collection.
Within War Office correspondence and papers (WO 98) we discovered the London Gazette citation for Arthur Percy Sullivan who was awarded the Victoria Cross. Sullivan was an Australian bank clerk who served in the First World War before volunteering to fight the Bolsheviks in northern Russia in 1919. He won the Victoria Cross for saving three men from a deep swamp under heavy fire.
A small annotation in our file says ‘run over at coronation’. A search in the National Archives of Australia reveals Arthur’s military service file. From this we learn that in 1937 he came to the UK as part of the Australian Coronation Contingent. Sadly, he slipped on the pavement on Birdcage Walk in London, hit his head and subsequently died. A blue plaque commemorates his life on Birdcage Walk. Continue reading »