To commemorate the participation of Victorian Public Sector workers in the Great War, the Community and Public Sector Union launched a research project focussing on state government employees who enlisted. Figures from the union's journal during the war identify at least 6,408 employees of the Victorian Government enlisted between 1914 and 1918, 726 of whom lost their lives. This number includes employees of the Victorian Government Railways, Civil Servants, Prison Warders, employees of what were then still termed "lunatic asylums", Police and Teachers. It does not include the general hospital sector, for which no figures have been found. The scope of our project is limited to the State Public Service (including Teachers and Police) - the groups covered by the Victorian State Service Federation (our ancestor) at the time.
100 years ago Australian troops landed at Anzac Cove.
Over the next three and a half years, over 60,000 young Australians gave their lives - more than one percent of Australia's population at the time.
In honour of their sacrifice, and to commemorate their service, it is fitting that we, in this centenary year, recall as much of what occurred in that war as possible.
As Premier, I am particularly pleased by the efforts of the Community and Public Sector Union to recall the contribution of our state public sector workers – in particular, civil servants, teachers and police.
Assisted with a grant from our ANZAC Centenary Fund, their research contained within this website details those public sector employees, over 6,000 individuals from all Departments, who enlisted.
There remain today, located throughout our state, honour boards and war memorials with lists of names and initials, mostly placed shortly after the end of the Great War.
It adds immensely to the act of commemoration to add detail to those names - to use the internet to provide stories and pictures that carry more meaning than a solemn name ever could.
This project has placed on the public record, once again, the names of the men and women who - having already served the state of Victoria in peacetime - served their nation in a time of great trial and suffering.
Their contribution deserves to be remembered.
"...no body of men in any walk of life, who have been more ready to do their duty, than the Victorian State Servants of the Crown" VPSA Journal - 21st December 1918
Hon Daniel Andrews
Premier of Victoria