Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Part 5: Casualties

By Michael O'Leary; The Regimental Rogue

Books of Remembrance

"The first Book of Remembrance created, and the largest of the Books, is the First World War Book of Remembrance. It contains more than 66,000 names." - History of the Books of Remembrance.

Research into a soldier of the First World War can often start with inquiries into how an ancestor died, and where he is buried. These inquiries, which can also lead to searching for their service records, will often begin with the various records for casualties, the dead, of the Great War.

The official recording of Canada's war dead is the Books of Remembrance which in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. Because not all Canadians, or descendants of these soldiers' families, have the opportunity to view the Books of Remembrance in person, we are fortunate that they have been digitized and images of the pages placed on line.

Part of a single page in the 1916 Book of Remembrance for the First World War.

Part of a single page in the 1916 Book of Remembrance for the First World War.

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

But the Books of Remembrance are not the most efficient starting point when using the Internet as our research tool. The best starting point will be the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Introduction and search form for the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Introduction and search form for the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Use the Advanced Search page when the specific date of death is known, or to search within a range of dates, or for a unit name.

As with the Soldiers of the First World War (1914-1918) database, searches for common names can result in a large number of similar results. The immediately visible details can include given names and date of death, but to investigate further will requre opening each entry to confirm details of unit, date of death and other entered information.

The first seven of 55 returned results of searching for MacDonald and John in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

The first seven of 55 returned results of searching for MacDonald and John in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Each record in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial opens to a new page, providing a number of details on each soldier as they have been recorded in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, and then shared with the CVWM. Details in each record can include any of the following:

The information available on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial can be used to add to that available in the soldier's service record. Families can also use the capabilities of the CVWM to share photos and images of information with others through the photo upload facility.

Photo upload form linked from the Canadian Virtual War Memorial record for Sergeant John MacDonald, DCM.

Photo upload form linked from the Canadian Virtual War Memorial record for Sergeant John MacDonald, DCM.

If you find discrepancies between the information posted on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and your other research, and you can provide evidence that the CVWM is incorrect, use the Contact page to send your information to Veterans Affairs. They are always willing to examine such evidence and make corrections where needed.

Circumstances of Death Records

Aother source of information on the deaths of Canadian soldiers in the First World War are in a little known collection of files called the Particulars of Death forms. Filed separately from the service records, these are best accessed by finding a researcher in Ottawa who is familiar with them and can find and copy or photograph the particular page. The Particulars of Death forms can be a gamble, some will provide details not found in any other records, others will be cryptic and offer no extra information. Also note that volumes containing names beginning with "Sip" to "Z" have not survived.

In late 2011, these records were made available on line in a digitized form - Circumstances of Death Registers, First World War. These documents are assembled in collections of images by file contents. Each collection of images has many alphabetized individual records. Some experimention within the structure of the image collection will be needed to find the right binder (check the names on the first page) and then you will need to move back and form among the pages using the navigation means at the bottom of the display to get to the right page (make large jumps using the page number box to get close to your objective). See the table below the following figures for the first surname in each file.

Circumstances of Death Registers, First World War.

Index page for the Circumstances of Death Registers, First World War. Each link leads to a virtual stack of hundreds, up to a thousand or more, of individual page images.

Circumstances of Death Registers, First World War.

The Circumstances of Death Register sheet for Sgt Walter Lowe, MM, The Royal Canadian Regiment. Note the Page Navigation options at the lower left and right of the image. Don't forget to check the following image (i.e., the back of the sheet).

Excerpt of Particulars of Death form for 477501 Private Henry William Krimmell.

Excerpt of Particulars of Death form for 477501 Private Henry William Krimmell. This example provides good detail on the death of Private Krimmel.

Excerpt of Particulars of Death form for 477550 Sergeant Walter Lowe, MM.

Excerpt of Particulars of Death form for 477550 Sergeant Walter Lowe, MM. This example offers no details on what caused Sergeant Lowe's death; his service record, however, reveals that he was killed in a grenade training accident while serving as an instructor at the Canadian Corps Bombing School. Note also that the image of the page is cropped in this captured image, the full sheet is observable in the LAC image collection.

Circumstances of Death Registers; First World War: First Surname in Each File

The following table shows the first surname in each of the 94 Circumstances of Death Register document sets on line with the Library and Archives Canada. Note that alphabetization by last name and full first name may not be exact, in some cases names might be mispelled and later corrected, or short forms or initial may be used in place of full frst names. Also, names with spaces will be found files as if they had no spaced (e.g., "de Salis" filed as "Desalis"). Consider speling with "Mac" and "Mc" interchangable to searching purposes.

The LAC's newer introduction page for the Circumstances of Death Records can be found here.

Surnames Microform Sequence Volume number Reference
Aaron to Alek131829_B016711RG150, 1992-93/314, 145
Alexander to Amyot 231829_B016712RG150, 1992-93/314, 146
Ancell to Armson 331829_B016713RG150, 1992-93/314, 147
Armstrong to Ayvas 431829_B016714RG150, 1992-93/314, 148
Babb to Barjarow 531829_B016715RG150, 1992-93/314, 149
Bark to Bazinet 631829_B016716RG150, 1992-93/314, 150
Bea to Belisle 731829_B016717RG150, 1992-93/314, 151
Bell to Bernaquez 831829_B016718RG150, 1992-93/314, 152
Bernard to Binyon 931829_B016719RG150, 1992-93/314, 153
Birch to Blakstad 1031829_B034746RG150, 1992-93/314, 154
Blampie to Booth 1131829_B016720RG150, 1992-93/314, 155
Border to Boys 1231829_B016721RG150, 1992-93/314, 156
Brabant to Britton 1331829_B016722RG150, 1992-93/314, 157
Broad to Broyak 1431829_B016723RG150, 1992-93/314, 158
Brubacher to Bunyan 1531829_B016724RG150, 1992-93/314, 159
Burbank to Bytheway 1631829_B016725RG150, 1992-93/314, 160
Cabana to Campling 1731829_B016726RG150, 1992-93/314, 161
Canavan to Caswell 1831829_B016727RG150, 1992-93/314, 162
Catchpole to Chignell 1931829_B016728RG150, 1992-93/314, 163
Child to Clayton 2031829_B016729RG150, 1992-93/314, 164
Cleal to Connolly 2131829_B016730RG150, 1992-93/314, 165
Connon to Corbett 2231829_B016731RG150, 1992-93/314, 166
Corbi to Cozni 2331829_B016732RG150, 1992-93/314, 167
Crabb to Crossland 2431829_B016733RG150, 1992-93/314, 168
Crossley to Cyrs 2531829_B016734RG150, 1992-93/314, 169
Dack to Dabate 2631829_B016735RG150, 1992-93/314, 170
Davy to Detro 2731829_B016736RG150, 1992-93/314, 171
Deuel to Domoney 2831829_B016737RG150, 1992-93/314, 172
Don to Drzewiecki 2931829_B016738RG150, 1992-93/314, 173
Duane to Dzhobiewski 3031829_B016739RG150, 1992-93/314, 174
Ead to Elliott 3131829_B016740RG150, 1992-93/314, 175
Ellis to Eyr 3231829_B016741RG150, 1992-93/314, 176
Faber to Ffoulkes 3331829_B016742RG150, 1992-93/314, 177
Ficht to Flynn 3431829_B016743RG150, 1992-93/314, 178
Foames to Fraser 3531829_B016744RG150, 1992-93/314, 179
Frayn to Fyson 3631829_B016694RG150, 1992-93/314, 180
Gabbe to Gash 3731829_B016691RG150, 1992-93/314, 181
Gaskell to Gibsone 3831829_B016690RG150, 1992-93/314, 182
Giddings to Godfrey 3931829_B016689RG150, 1992-93/314, 183
Godin to Goudy 4031829_B016686RG150, 1992-93/314, 184
Gouedard to Gray 4131829_B034747RG150, 1992-93/314, 185
Graybourn to Grivel 4231829_B016687RG150, 1992-93/314, 186
Groat to Halkett 4331829_B016688RG150, 1992-93/314, 187
Hall to Hannaford-Hill 4431829_B016684RG150, 1992-93/314, 188
Hannah to Harrison 4531829_B016683RG150, 1992-93/314, 189
Harrod to Hazlewood 4631829_B016685RG150, 1992-93/314, 190
Head to Herron 4731829_B016745RG150, 1992-93/314, 191
Hersee to Hoey 4831829_B034748RG150, 1992-93/314, 192
Hoffman to Hopwood 4931829_B016746RG150, 1992-93/314, 193
Hora to Humphries 5031829_B016693RG150, 1992-93/314, 194
Hunking to Hyson 5131829_B016697RG150, 1992-93/314, 195
Ibbetson to Izzo 5231829_B016696RG150, 1992-93/314, 196
Jack to Joelson 5331829_B016709RG150, 1992-93/314, 197
Johannesson to Johnstone 5431829_B016695RG150, 1992-93/314, 198
Joiner to Juteau 5531829_B016692RG150, 1992-93/314, 199
Kaar to Kennard 5631829_B016705RG150, 1992-93/314, 200
Kennedy to King-Mason 5731829_B016699RG150, 1992-93/314, 201
Kingan to Kynaston 5831829_B016698RG150, 1992-93/314, 202
Labarge to Larisey 5931829_B016702RG150, 1992-93/314, 203
Lariviere to Lea 6031829_B016747RG150, 1992-93/314, 204
Leach to Leslye 6131829_B016748RG150, 1992-93/314, 205
Lesperance to Litster 6231829_B016749RG150, 1992-93/314, 206
Little to Lortie 6331829_B016750RG150, 1992-93/314, 207
Losey to Lyttle 6431829_B016751RG150, 1992-93/314, 208
Mabee to Manning 6531829_B016752RG150, 1992-93/314, 209
Manogue, W.J. to Maskell, P. 6631829_B016753RG150, 1992-93/314, 210
Mason, A. to Medland, F. 6731829_B016754RG150, 1992-93/314, 211
Medland to Millachip 6831829_B016772RG150, 1992-93/314, 212
Millar to Mirgorod 6931829_B016771RG150, 1992-93/314, 213
Miron to Moore 7031829_B016755RG150, 1992-93/314, 214
Moorecroft to Moss 7131829_B016756RG150, 1992-93/314, 215
Moss to Myson 7231829_B016757RG150, 1992-93/314, 216
MacAdam to MacNameee 7331829_B016708RG150, 1992-93/314, 217
MacNaughton to McCombie 7431829_B016758RG150, 1992-93/314, 218
McCombie to McDonald 7531829_B016759RG150, 1992-93/314, 219
McDonaugh to McIntyre 7631829_B016760RG150, 1992-93/314, 220
McIntyre, R. to McKone, J.M.A. 7731829_B016761RG150, 1992-93/314, 221
McLauchlan to McMiutrie 7831829_B016762RG150, 1992-93/314, 222
McNab to McWilliams 7931829_B016763RG150, 1992-93/314, 223
Nadeau to Nichols 8031829_B016764RG150, 1992-93/314, 224
Nicholson to Nyrerod 8131829_B016765RG150, 1992-93/314, 225
Noag to Oxnam 8231829_B016766RG150, 1992-93/314, 226
Pabeff, S. to Paul, Wr. 8331829_B016767RG150, 1992-93/314, 227
Paul, Wr. To Pfrimmer 8431829_B016768RG150, 1992-93/314, 228
Phair to Pollard 8531829_B016710RG150, 1992-93/314, 229
Pollard, Wh. To Quirt 8631829_B016769RG150, 1992-93/314, 230
Raaflaub to Regan 8731829_B016707RG150, 1992-93/314, 231
Reher to Richardson 8831829_B016706RG150, 1992-93/314, 232
Richelieu to Rodokinsk 8931829_B016704RG150, 1992-93/314, 233
Rodolph to Rowell 9031829_B034749RG150, 1992-93/314, 234
Rowland to Ryrie 9131829_B016703RG150, 1992-93/314, 235
Sabatino to Schotts 9231829_B016701RG150, 1992-93/314, 236
Schoumik to Shelmerdine 9331829_B016700RG150, 1992-93/314, 237
Shelter to Sims 9431829_B016770RG150, 1992-93/314, 238

Commonwealth War Graves Registers

Also newly digitized by Library and Archives Canada are their collection of First World War Commonwealth War Graves Registers. With a display organized similar to the Circumstances of Death records, these can provide further information on the burials of individual soldiers.

Circumstances of Death Registers, First World War.

Index page for the Commonwealth War Graves Registers. Each link leads to a virtual stack of hundreds, up to a thousand or more, of individual page images.

Circumstances of Death Registers, First World War.

The Commonwealth War Graves Register sheet for Sgt Walter Lowe, MM, The Royal Canadian Regiment. Note the Page Navigation options at the lower left and right of the image. Don't forget to check the following image (i.e., the back of the sheet). Note also that the image of the page is cropped in this captured image, the full sheet is observable in the LAC image collection.

Commonwealth War Graves Registers; First World War: Surnames in Each File

The following tables show the first surname in each of the 106 Commonwealth War Graves Registers document sets on line with the Library and Archives Canada. Note that alphabetization by last name and full first name may not be exact, in some cases names might be mispelled and later corrected, or short forms or initial may be used in place of full frst names. Also, names with spaces will be found files as if they had no spaced (e.g., "de Salis" filed as "Desalis"). Consider speling with "Mac" and "Mc" interchangable to searching purposes.

Surnames Location of Grave Microform Sequence Volume Number Reference
Aaron to Allan France, Belgium, etc.131830_B016669RG150, 1992-93/314, 39
Allanso to Angst France, Belgium, etc.231830_B016673RG150, 1992-93/314, 40
Angus to Astley France, Belgium, etc.331830_B016674RG150, 1992-93/314, 41
Aston to Baker France, Belgium, etc.431830_B016672RG150, 1992-93/314, 42
Baky to Barrow France, Belgium, etc.531830_B016677RG150, 1992-93/314, 43
Barry to Beebe France, Belgium, etc.631830_B016663RG150, 1992-93/314, 44
Beech to Berner France, Belgium, etc.731830_B034750RG150, 1992-93/314, 45
Bernhart to Bittle France, Belgium, etc.831830_B016668RG150, 1992-93/314, 46
Bjarnason to Bolger France, Belgium, etc.931830_B016662RG150, 1992-93/314, 47
Bolin to Bowes France, Belgium, etc.1031830_B016667RG150, 1992-93/314, 48
Bowhay to Briden France, Belgium, etc.1131830_B016666RG150, 1992-93/314, 49
Bridge to Brown, I.F. France, Belgium, etc.1231830_B016665RG150, 1992-93/314, 50
Brown, J. to Buist France, Belgium, etc.1331830_B016671RG150, 1992-93/314, 51
Bulbick to Bytheway France, Belgium, etc.1431830_B016670RG150, 1992-93/314, 52
Cabana to Canning France, Belgium, etc.1531830_B016591RG150, 1992-93/314, 53
Cannon to Cave France, Belgium, etc.1631830_B016590RG150, 1992-93/314, 54
Cavelle to Christmas France, Belgium, etc.1731830_B016589RG150, 1992-93/314, 55
Christo to Cabley France, Belgium, etc.1831830_B016594RG150, 1992-93/314, 56
Coburn to Coogan France, Belgium, etc.1931830_B016593RG150, 1992-93/314, 57
Cook to Cotton France, Belgium, etc.2031830_B016592RG150, 1992-93/314, 58
Cottrell to Crewe France, Belgium, etc.2131830_B016595RG150, 1992-93/314, 59
Cribbes to Cyrs France, Belgium, etc.2231830_B016596RG150, 1992-93/314, 60
Dabate to Dawson France, Belgium, etc.2331830_B016600RG150, 1992-93/314, 61
Day to Dickie France, Belgium, etc.2431830_B016597RG150, 1992-93/314, 62
Dickens to Dostie France, Belgium, etc.2531830_B016599RG150, 1992-93/314, 63
Doty to Dunbar France, Belgium, etc.2631830_B016598RG150, 1992-93/314, 64
Duncan to Edwards France, Belgium, etc.2731830_B016602RG150, 1992-93/314, 65
Edworthy to Ezric France, Belgium, etc.2831830_B016601RG150, 1992-93/314, 66
Faber to Fincham France, Belgium, etc.2931830_B016606RG150, 1992-93/314, 67
Finder to Ford France, Belgium, etc.3031830_B016605RG150, 1992-93/314, 68
Fordham to Freymuth France, Belgium, etc.3131830_B034751RG150, 1992-93/314, 69
Fricker to Gaston France, Belgium, etc.3231830_B016604RG150, 1992-93/314, 70
Gate to Gingras France, Belgium, etc.3331830_B016609RG150, 1992-93/314, 71
Ginn to Gotze France, Belgium, etc.3431830_B016608RG150, 1992-93/314, 72
Goucher to Green France, Belgium, etc.3531830_B016607RG150, 1992-93/314, 73
Greenaway to Gysin France, Belgium, etc.3631830_B016611RG150, 1992-93/314, 74
Haas to Hancox France, Belgium, etc.3731830_B016610RG150, 1992-93/314, 75
Hand to Harty France, Belgium, etc.3831830_B016675RG150, 1992-93/314, 76
Harvey to Helms France, Belgium, etc.3931830_B016676RG150, 1992-93/314, 77
Helps to Hildreth France, Belgium, etc.4031830_B016680RG150, 1992-93/314, 78
Hill to Holmden France, Belgium, etc.4131830_B034451RG150, 1992-93/314, 79
Holmes to Howles France, Belgium, etc.4231830_B016679RG150, 1992-93/314, 80
Howlett to Hutson France, Belgium, etc.4331830_B016678RG150, 1992-93/314, 81
Hutt to James France, Belgium, etc.4431830_B034447RG150, 1992-93/314, 82
Jameson to Johnsson France, Belgium, etc.4531830_B016681RG150, 1992-93/314, 83
Johnston to Juteau France, Belgium, etc.4631830_B034450RG150, 1992-93/314, 84
Kaar to Kernick France, Belgium, etc.4731830_B034449RG150, 1992-93/314, 85
Kerr to Knibbs France, Belgium, etc.4831830_B016682RG150, 1992-93/314, 86
Knight to Landymore France, Belgium, etc.4931830_B034448RG150, 1992-93/314, 87
Lane to Leach France, Belgium, etc.5031830_B034452RG150, 1992-93/314, 88
Leachman to Levine France, Belgium, etc.5131830_B016603RG150, 1992-93/314, 89
Levings to Lockie France, Belgium, etc.5231830_B016614RG150, 1992-93/314, 90
Lockley to Lyttle France, Belgium, etc.5331830_B016613RG150, 1992-93/314, 91
Mabee to Marsden France, Belgium, etc.5431830_B016612RG150, 1992-93/314, 92
Marsh to May France, Belgium, etc.5531830_B016617RG150, 1992-93/314, 93
Mayall to Millens France, Belgium, etc.5631830_B016616RG150, 1992-93/314, 94
Miller to Moir France, Belgium, etc.5731830_B016615RG150, 1992-93/314, 95
Moisley to Morley France, Belgium, etc.5831830_B016620RG150, 1992-93/314, 96
Morphew to Muir France, Belgium, etc.5931830_B016619RG150, 1992-93/314, 97
Muirhead to Myson France, Belgium, etc.6031830_B016621RG150, 1992-93/314, 98
McAdam to McCoubry France, Belgium, etc.6131830_B034752RG150, 1992-93/314, 99
McCourt to McDonaugh France, Belgium, etc.6231830_B016618RG150, 1992-93/314, 100
McDonnell to McIntre France, Belgium, etc.6331830_B016622RG150, 1992-93/314, 101
McIntosh to Mackenzie France, Belgium, etc.6431830_B016626RG150, 1992-93/314, 102
McKeough to McLeman France, Belgium, etc.6531830_B016625RG150, 1992-93/314, 103
McLennan to McNaughton France, Belgium, etc.6631830_B016624RG150, 1992-93/314, 104
McNaul to McWilliams France, Belgium, etc.6731830_B016623RG150, 1992-93/314, 105
Nadeau to Nicoletti France, Belgium, etc.6831830_B016630RG150, 1992-93/314, 106
Nicoll to Olivier France, Belgium, etc.6931830_B016629RG150, 1992-93/314, 107
Oliff to Papworth France, Belgium, etc.7031830_B016628RG150, 1992-93/314, 108
Paquet to Pattison France, Belgium, etc.7131830_B016627RG150, 1992-93/314, 109
Patton to Perry France, Belgium, etc.7231830_B016633RG150, 1992-93/314, 110
Perryman to Plow France, Belgium, etc.7331830_B016632RG150, 1992-93/314, 111
Plowman to Price France, Belgium, etc.7431830_B016631RG150, 1992-93/314, 112
Prickett to Ramsey France, Belgium, etc.7531830_B016635RG150, 1992-93/314, 113
Rance to Reid France, Belgium, etc.7631830_B016634RG150, 1992-93/314, 114
Reiley to Rizza France, Belgium, etc.7731830_B016638RG150, 1992-93/314, 115
Roach to Roffey France, Belgium, etc.7831830_B016637RG150, 1992-93/314, 116
Roger to Roy France, Belgium, etc.7931830_B016636RG150, 1992-93/314, 117
Royal to Saunders France, Belgium, etc.8031830_B016641RG150, 1992-93/314, 118
Sauvage to Selfe France, Belgium, etc.8131830_B016640RG150, 1992-93/314, 119
Selkirk to Sholds France, Belgium, etc.8231830_B034455RG150, 1992-93/314, 120
Scholert to Smales France, Belgium, etc.8331830_B016644RG150, 1992-93/314, 121
Small to Smith, P.M. France, Belgium, etc.8431830_B016643RG150, 1992-93/314, 122
Smith, R. to Spence France, Belgium, etc.8531830_B034454RG150, 1992-93/314, 123
Spencer to Steven France, Belgium, etc.8631830_B016642RG150, 1992-93/314, 124
Stevens to St. Pierre France, Belgium, etc.8731830_B016647RG150, 1992-93/314, 125
Stracey to Syvret France, Belgium, etc.8831830_B016646RG150, 1992-93/314, 126
Tabbener to Thom France, Belgium, etc.8931830_B016645RG150, 1992-93/314, 127
Thomas to Tizzard France, Belgium, etc.9031830_B016639RG150, 1992-93/314, 128
Tobias to Turnbull France, Belgium, etc.9131830_B034453RG150, 1992-93/314, 129
Turner to Vyse France, Belgium, etc.9231830_B016649RG150, 1992-93/314, 130
Wabanosse to Warby France, Belgium, etc.9331830_B016656RG150, 1992-93/314, 131
Ward to Webb France, Belgium, etc.9431830_B016651RG150, 1992-93/314, 132
Webber to Whitcutt France, Belgium, etc.9531830_B016653RG150, 1992-93/314, 133
White to Wiley France, Belgium, etc.9631830_B016654RG150, 1992-93/314, 134
Williams to Wilson France, Belgium, etc.9731830_B016655RG150, 1992-93/314, 135
Wilton to Worsley France, Belgium, etc.9831830_B016658RG150, 1992-93/314, 136
Worster to Zykoski France, Belgium, etc.9931830_B016652RG150, 1992-93/314, 137

Commonwealth War Graves Registers for burial is the United Kingdom

Surnames Location of Grave Microform Sequence Volume Number Reference
Abbot to Byrt United Kingdom10031830_B016657RG150, 1992-93/314, 138
Cadieux to Ewens United Kingdom10131830_B016650RG150, 1992-93/314, 139
Fagg to Holmes United Kingdom10231830_B016661RG150, 1992-93/314, 140
Holtum to Meads United Kingdom10331830_B016648RG150, 1992-93/314, 141
Meehen to Ozanne United Kingdom10431830_B016660RG150, 1992-93/314, 142
Packham to Smith United Kingdom10531830_B016659RG150, 1992-93/314, 143
Smollet to Zinck United Kingdom10631830_B016664RG150, 1992-93/314, 144

Grave Photos

In researching a soldier who died in the First World War, a common result is a desire to acquire a photograph of the soldier's grave. While not everyone has the opportunity to visit the Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries in France, Belgium or other countries around the world, there are other options for acquiring a grave photograph. These include:

The grave photo of 479082 Pte Henry James Jarvis in the Anneux British Cemetery, Department of the Nord, France.

Part 6 - Researching Honours and Awards.

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