At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the Australian Museum had only 39 staff. Four of these became servicemen, along with four Trustees.

The Australian Museum pays its respects to those who served and also commemorates its own historic links to The Great War.


Colonel Sir James Burns, KCMG, MLC

Professor Sir Tannatt William Edgeworth David, KBE, CMG, DSO, FRS

Lieutenant Colonel Reuter Emerich Roth, AAMC, DSO, KCMG

Surgeon-General William Daniel Campbell Williams

Museum Staff

Reginald (Rex) Wheeler Bretnall – Junior Assistant
Enlisted in December 1915, served in 25th Signal Company and returned to the Museum on his discharge from the army in January 1918.

James Roy Kinghorn – Zoologist’s Assistant (later Curator of Ornithology)
Seconded to the research vessel Endeavour in 1914 (the Endeavour later sank but Kinghorn was not aboard). He enlisted in July 1916 and served in England and France before returning to Sydney in June 1918. He required medical treatment before resuming work at the Museum in August 1918.

Joseph Kinglsey – Assistant to Articulator
Enlisted in July 1915, served in the 33rd Infantry in Belgium and France and returned to the Museum in 1919.

Ellis Le Geyt Troughton – Junior Zoologist (later Curator of Mammals)
Enlisted in July 1916, served in 4th Field Ambulance in France and returned to Sydney in July 1919.

Reuter Emerich Roth (1858–1924) - a Trustee of the Australian Museum (1906-1921)
Reuter Emerich Roth (1858–1924) - a Trustee of the Australian Museum (1906-1921) Image: Public Domain
© Public Domain