In response to the mass of missing and wounded reports coming out of WW1, the Australian Red Cross formed an information bureau to help families trace what had happened to their relatives.

Official Army information around death was often sadly lacking, particularly when the status was ‘missing in action’.

If a body was never found or identified, there was little the military could do. Official periodic inquiries into the status of the unlocated dead were held where evidence into the missing was assessed. After inquiry most missing soldiers were pronounced killed in action.

Families could wait months or years for the official inquest results.

Many sought answers about the final hours and location of their loved ones. This desperate need for news prompted the Red Cross to form an Information Bureau to help families find out what had happened.