Researching Military Records
Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War:
Library and Archives Canada
- Military Heritage at LIbrary and Archives Canada. "Library and Archives Canada holds an extensive collection of records of the Canadian men and women who have served their country in the military and in the early years of the North West Mounted Police. There are records relating to Loyalists, the War of 1812, the Rebellions, the South African War, the First World War and the Second World War, many of which are featured in databases, research guides and virtual exhibitions. The records include muster rolls, military service files, unit war diaries, medal registers, photographic collections, documentary art and posters, as well as published sources."
- Military Medals, Honours and Awards, 1812–1969 "Library and Archives Canada (LAC) holds medal registers, citation cards and the records of various military awards. As there are no service files for the Canadian military in the 1800s, those records often provide the only proof of service for 19th century conflicts. Many of the medals were awarded to recognize active service rather than acts of bravery."
- South African War, 1899-1902 - Service Files, Medals and Land Applications "A total of 7,368 Canadians and 12 Nursing Sisters served in South Africa. This research tool brings together three groups of records pertaining to the South African War: the service files, medal registers and land grant applications."
- Soldiers of the First World War (1914-1918)
- Courts-Martial of the First World War (1914-1918)
- War Diaries of the First World War "This database contains the digitised War Diaries of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) units. From the start of the First World War, CEF units were required to maintain a daily account of their “Actions in the Field.” This log was called a War Diary. The War Diaries are not personal diaries, rather they are a historical record of a unit’s administration, operations and activities during the First World War."
Forces after 1918 (including the Second World War)
"For all other military service files (1919-1997), including Second World War (not killed in action), access restrictions apply. The personal information contained in the service files are protected by the provisions of privacy legislation. For the same reason, the database and indexes that are used to identify the files cannot be made available on our Web site. Only staff may access them; therefore there is no online database available."
- Second World War Service Files: Canadian Armed Forces War Dead
"During the Second World War, approximately 709,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in the Canadian Army, 200,000 in the Royal Canadian Navy and 250,000 in the Royal Canadian Air Force for a total of over 1,159,000 men and women. Some 55,000 were wounded. A further 44,090 lost their lives: 24,525 served in the Army, 17,397 in the Air Force and 2,168 in the Navy."
Veterans Affairs Canada
- The Books of Remembrance
"The Books of Remembrance contain the names of Canadians who fought in
wars and died either during or after them. All the books are kept in
the Memorial Chamber located in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. The
purpose of creating a site that displays these books on the Internet is
to make them more accessible to the public. Quite aptly named are these
testaments to Canada's past, for by their very title they remind us to
never forget the foundations of courage on which Canada is built."
- The Canadian Virtual War Memorial "This
site contains a registry of information about the graves and memorials
of more than 116,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served valiantly
and gave their lives for their country. Included on this site are the
memorials of more than 100 soldiers who died in service to Canada since
the Korean War, including peacekeeping and other operations."
Canadian Military Medals and Decorations
The Mounting and Wearing of Decorations, Campaign Stars, and Medals
"Provided in order that those awarded War Decorations, Campaign Stars
and Medals, particularly those earned during the First World War, the
Second World War and the Korean War, may know how they should be
mounted and worn either on civilian clothes or on uniform."
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
War Graves Commission
"We commemorate the 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars. Our cemeteries, burial plots and memorials are a lasting tribute to those who died in some 154 countries across the world. Our Register records details of Commonwealth war dead so that graves or names on memorials can be located."
War Graves Commission
(Canada) "The Canadian Agency of the Commission is responsible for fulfilling the Charter tasks in the Americas (including the Caribbean). This includes the care of 20,400 War Dead commemorated in 3,350 cemeteries and on ten memorials."
Legion's Magazine's Last Post
"Since 1928, Legion Magazine has honoured those Canadians who have
served their country by publishing in print short death notices for
Royal Canadian Legion members with military backgrounds, Canadian war
veterans and Legion members with police service. With the advent of the
Internet, we have created as a historical archive for your free use a
Last Post database that goes back to July/August 1993. It contains
about 77,500 names, but this number will rise as further entries are
published in print and added to the collection twice a year. We will
gradually go back further in time as our resources permit."
Awards to the Royal Canadian Navy
"This web site is dedicated to the Men and Women of the Royal Canadian
Navy from 1910 to 1968. The majority of the site relates to the Honours
and Awards of World War Two with some details on World War One, Korea,
the post-war era and Canadians in the Royal Navy prior to World War
One. Awards and citations to the Merchant Navy are also included."
The C.E.F. Paper Trail
- "An Unofficial Guide to the Official Canadian Army Service Records from The Great War
compiled by Brett Payne of Tauranga, New Zealand"
The London Gazette - Records of publication of honours and awards of the
First and Second World Wars can be found by searching the London Gazette.
Expeditionary Force Study Group; including
this section on interpreting CEF personnel records
Great War Project
Canadian Military Heritage Project "How
to Find a Canadian Military Ancestor. Many of the records listed below
are those held by the National Archives of Canada. The NAC is not the
only source when researching a military ancestor, and we will be adding
information to this page as we acquire it. Please scroll down to the
War of interest."