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Australia's first DNA database for the recovery of missing war servicemen

At ACAD we are using DNA technologies to assist the Unrecovered War Casualties - Amy (UWCA) with recovering some of the 25,000 unaccounted servicemen lost in battle fields (WWI and WWII). This labour intensive work involves the collaboration of expertise, historical records, volunteers, family decendants, and DNA. The DNA database will represent the Australian WWI and WWII population (prior to post-war migration to Australia) providing more reliable identification of recovered remains.

Public involvement

  • If you were born in Australia before 1945: or
  • Are a direct descendant of parents who were living in Australia before 1945 then you can assist with this research project.

Your involvement requires:

  • Completing a sample donor form providing details of your known family history, including the year and place of birth of yourself, your parents, and your grandparents, if possible.
  • Obtaining a DNA sample via a cheek swab from the inside of your mouth.

Your details and DNA sample will remain anonymous and the database cannot and, will not, be used for any other purpose than identification of missing persons remains. If you are interested in participating and would like more information, including our Participation Information Package, please contact Assoc. Prof. Jeremy Austin via email.

This project has been approved by the University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee (H-2015-120).

Australian Centre for Ancient DNA
School of Biological Sciences
Darling Building
North Terrace Campus

The University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005


T: +61 8 8313 3952
F: +61 8 8313 4364
Web administrator email