Identity Disc; 005/075b

PDF Files

  Leo de Saxe_MDHS Journal.pdf


Moruya and District Historical Society Museum


Identity Disc

About this object

This round identity disc was one of two discs issued to Leo de Saxe. The disc has been stamped with Leo's name, service or regimental number, religion, and unit. As Leo de Saxe enlisted in the first months of the war, he was issued with an early version of the identity disc.

Medium and Materials

aluminium; leather


42mm high x 35 mm wide

Subject and Association Description

Until the katter part of 1916 all sevicemen were issued wiith a single aluminium identity tag. Introduced by the British in 1907, this identity disc measured about 42mm high x 35 mm wide (there is some slight variation in size from item to item). It was worn about the neck and was stamped or sometimes engraved with the soldier’s details.
In late 1916, Australian soldiers were issued with two fibreboard discs, one round and one octagonal. The octagonal disc, sometimes coloured green, was to remain with the body of the soldier to aid in identification should the body need to be exhumed.
The circular disc, sometimes coloured red, was used to identify the belongings of the soldier and be sent home. Folklore has it that these colourings were to aid soldiers in remembering which tag went where: red meant blood and was to be taken, since the soldier was dead; green meant grass and was to stay with the body.

Understanding Australian Identity Discs Part 1 : First World War
Australian War Memorial Blog

Object Type

World War 1 memorabilia

Object number


Copyright Licence  

Attribution - No Derivatives (cc) Attribution - No Derivatives (cc)


Include tags such as place names, people, dates, events and colours. Use commas to separate multiple tags. e.g. Pablo Picasso, Madrid, red, 1930s.


eHive copyright disclaimer

It is the responsibility of the eHive Account Holder to gain copyright clearance for any images or content published on eHive. If you are concerned about the copyright status for any content in eHive or would like more information on using or ordering copies of content, please contact the Account Holder of that content. For further information see our Copyright Claims page.