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From Bank to Battlefield

Australia's Central Bank and the First World War

The First World War saw the emergence of central banking in Australia. These functions were originally performed by a part of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. In 1960 that part became the Reserve Bank. In the centenary years of the First World War, the Reserve Bank honours those Bank staff who enlisted in the ‘war to end all wars’ and those who helped found a national institution.

Honor Roll

Honour Roll

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia's Honor Roll was officially unveiled. The Honor Roll… contains the names of those 206…staff who enlisted

Letters from the Front

Letters from the Front

Even from the battlefields, staff were keen to hear of the progress of the Bank. And they shared significant experiences with the Governor.

Profiles of Bank Staff who went to war


By the end of the war, a total of 206 Commonwealth Bank officers had made the same decision to serve. Learn more about their personal stories.

The Year of Anzac

The Year of Anzac

The Gallipoli campaign lasted eight months and although it failed in its military objectives, it created a legacy which helped to shape the identity of the nation.


Managing the Bank in Times of War

Sir Denison Samuel King Miller was the first Governor of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and played a significant role in the establishment of central banking in this country.


Visit of the Prince of Wales in 1920

At the Imperial War Conference in 1917, and again at the conference of overseas Prime Ministers in 1918, King George V had foreshadowed a visit to the Dominions by his eldest son, ‘when peace comes’.



This selection of photographs from the Reserve Bank of Australia's archives documents aspects of the building of the Bank's head office, and the Bank's involvement in raising funds through the sale of War Loan Bonds, and then Peace Loan Bonds after the war's conclusion.

Interactive Timeline


Interactive timeline highlighting key dates about the Bank and the war.

ANZAC Centenary

Audio: Listen to the Last Post