Guide to the Collection of William Foilan [MSS 373]

Finding Aid Index Request Information


Overview | Administrative Information | Container List

Each Finding Aid can be keyword searched using the Ctrl F function on your keyboard.

Manuscript Name Collection of William Foilan
Manuscript Number MSS 373
Last Updated June 2021
Extent 1 box
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Soldier’s engraved identity disc

Collection Subject Type 


Scope and Content

This collection contains the identity disc (also known as a ‘dog tag’) of William Foilan, private, 1st Australian Imperial Force, 19 Battalion, 2395. Identity discs were worn around the neck by First World War soldiers for identification in case of injury or death. The discs were stamped with the soldier's name, service or regimental number, religion, and unit

Date Range of Content


Biographical Note

William Foilan was born in Sydney and worked in the boot trade before enlisting at age 24 in the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in 1915. Foilan was a private in the 19th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement which embarked from Sydney on board MHAT A32 Themistocles. He died in France on 8 November 1918

AIF Database : William Foilan retrieved 20 November 2020


Administrative Information

Access and Copying Conditions

Access: Open Access

This collection contains a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: Copying for research and study is approved

Preferred Citation

William Foilan Collection, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MSS 373, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


This object was donated by a private individual in 2017


Subject Keywords


Australian Imperial Force (1914-1921). Infantry Battalion, 19th – History

World War, 1914-1918 – Campaigns – Western Front

Military dog tags

Soldiers — Australia – Identification

Personal Names

William Foilan, 1891-1918

Corporate Names

Australian Imperial Force (1914-1921)




Container List

Box 1 

Folder 1 

One identity disc with engraved: 2395, W. Foilan 19 Batt  A I F  C of E

The disc is tied to a length of string together with a French coin of 1915