Funded by the Australian Research Council, 2015-2017.
What really happened to the Diggers after the war? In this centenary year of Gallipoli, we still don’t know. We don't know how long they lived nor how they compared in health and family formation to civilians. Did some recover from trauma and exposures over time? Did the Repatriation Scheme and medical care make a difference? What social and biological characteristics may have affected risk, resilience and recovery? And what can we learn about the lifelong sequelae of war exposures and trauma to assist in the recovery of today’s servicemen? This will be the world’s first cradle-to-grave medico-demographic study of survivors of military service in World War I, drawing on Australia’s unique archive of service and veteran medical records. It will yield historical knowledge of both national and international significance and it may assist the Defence Forces in the management and care of veterans of recent wars. It will place Australia in the front rank of historical longitudinal studies of the impact of war on the life course of combatants and it will engage volunteer citizen historians in a national enterprise to mark the centenary of Anzac.