Over 70 Victorian newspapers covering 1914 to 1918 are now freely available on Trove, the digitised Australian newspapers website. These titles have been digitised to support the commemoration of the centenary of World War I which begins next year. You can find out about the story of the war and its impact on Victoria in the pages of these newspapers.

For example, you can read in the Ararat Advertiser about the death of Private A. R Johnson of Ararat who was killed while serving with the 8th battalion at the Dardenelles in May 1915:

Ararat advertiser, 12 June 1915, page 3

On Monday word was also received in Ararat, stating that Private A. R Johnson, son of Mr Johnson, of View Point street, had been, killed at the war, but particulars could not be published till now owing to the name not being released till yesterday afternoon. The deceased was just about twenty years of age, and was employed in the mining industry at Ararat up till the time he enlisted. He was of a very quiet disposition, and was not one to roam about much, but notwithstanding this fact he made numerous friends.

Private Johnson’s father William was a long time Ararat resident who had three sons serve in the Great War. William inserted a later notice of thanks to the community in the same paper.

A postcard of the soldiers memorial in Ararat.

Soldiers Memorial, Ararat, Vic., H32492/1084

Newspapers help you discover the stories of your ancestors and communities as they lived through this turbulent time in our history. They complement other digitised sources such as unit histories, which are described in our guide to Researching World War I soldiers.

You can browse through a list of digitised Victorian newspapers on Trove or search the issues for the names of loved ones or home towns. You can also search the newspapers by region including Gippsland, Mildura and Western Victoria.

The entire edition of the newspaper has been digitised so you can view and read personal notices, lists and advertisements in addition to the news articles.

This project is delivered by the State Library of Victoria in partnership with Public Libraries Victoria Network, and is funded by the Library Board of Victoria.

Written by Chris Wade, Newspaper Librarian

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