Post-war Commemorations

Permission to Use the Service Badge

All personnel who served in the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army or the Royal Australian Air Force are entitled to have their Service badge inscribed on their private memorial.  Personnel who served in the Merchant Navy are entitled to an Australian Merchant Navy badge.

However, for copyright reasons, permission to inscribe a badge must first be obtained from the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG). 1

Required information

Before it can grant permission, OAWG needs to know the following details:

  • full name; and
  • Service number; and
  • Service (navy, army, air force, merchant navy). If not known, please contact the Department of Defence to determine this information. 

Proof of Service must accompany the request, ie:

  • a copy of the veteran's discharge certificate, or
  • a copy of the veteran's paybook, or
  • a printout from the relevant online Nominal Roll, or
  • supporting documentation from the relevant Defence Office.

See: the Department of Defence website


To apply for permission:

Mail, fax or email your letter or application form to:

Office of Australian War Graves
GPO Box 9998

Fax: 02 6289 6571

See: Form D9081


  •  By logging on to the Nominal Roll you can print your own letter.

Once an application with all the required information is received, OAWG forwards a letter of permission via standard post, fax or email.

Please note that all arrangements and costs associated with the provision of the private memorial are the responsibility of the next-of-kin or the Executor.

Other badges

Written requests for permission to use Australian badges or emblems other than those of the Navy, Army and Air Force, for example the badge of a particular Corps such as the Artillery, in any publication (including on a memorial) should be directed to the Department of Defence: 

Defence Community Organisation (DCO)
Russell Offices

Permission to use emblems of foreign services should be sought from the relevant Embassy or High Commission.



  1. Section 83 of the Defence Act 1903 (Cth) delegates authority to the Director of War Graves to approve the use of a Service emblem on privately erected memorials.

See further: Defence Act 1903 (Cth)