1914 AIF Identity Disc

The metal ID Disc worn by members of the Australian Imperial Forces was designed to assist in the identification of seriously wounded or dead soldiers.

Australian troops’ first ‘regulation method’ of personal identification was a strip of tape carried in the tunic pocket during the Boer War (1899–1902), on which the man’s name was written. But soldiers did not always carry it in the correct pocket and detailed searches would often be required when trying to identify a casualty.

In 1906, Australian soldiers were issued with a tin disc and given orders that it was to be worn around the neck (they had to find their own twine!). The discs were stamped with the soldier's name, regimental number, religion, and unit. The use of identity discs for AIF members was governed under AIF Order No. 2 issued by Brig.Gen W.T. Bridges, on 26th August 1914. The disc measures 35mm x 42.5mm.

The first discs worn by the AIF were created aboard the troop transports carrying the first contingent of Australian and New Zealand troops to war. Each transport was issued with blank discs, a hammer and metal stamp kit.

Read the original AIF Order

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