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National Archives exposes the ongoing impact of war

For many Anzacs, the horrors of war didn’t end when they returned home. Ongoing health problems – both physical and mental – often meant unemployment, disability, pain and, if things became unbearable, suicide.

The intimate details of such difficulties are preserved in more than 600,000 World War I repatriation records, held by the National Archives of Australia.

They document the medical care, welfare services and pensions provided by the Repatriation Department – now known as the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Very few of the files have been viewed since their official use.

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