Canadian Online World War One Records

Assuming that finding an ancestor at the Battle of Agincourt 1415 was a bit of a long shot – is that an archery joke?   Let’s look for some closer records.  Remembrance Day is coming.  Do you have Canadian ancestors who fought in World War One?

Library and Archives Canada  hosts a very fine online database of approximately 620.000 attestation papers from World War One.  “Volunteers for the Canadian Expeditionary Force were questioned at the place of enlistment to complete the two-sided Attestation papers which included the recruit’s name and address, next-of-kin, date and place of birth, occupation, previous military service, and distinguishing physical characteristics. Recruits were asked to sign their Attestation papers, indicating their willingness to serve overseas. By contrast, men who were drafted into the CEF under the provisions of the Military Service Act (1917) completed a far simpler one-sided form which included their name, date of recruitment, and compliance with requirements for registration. Officers completed a one-sided form called the Officers’ Declaration Paper.” (Source: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/canadian-expeditionary-force.aspx ).  Work is underway to digitize all the service records.

I find it interesting to see the physical descriptions – height, eye colour, hair colour.  Try searching for your ancestors who may have served.  My wife found her grandmother’s brother in this database – Peter Malm.  I found his papers just by searching for his surname and first name without knowing his regimental number. Click Here to get started and then Click on the link Search Database.  We hope you find some interesting new information. 

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