Note that readers may also view these records on Ancestry.com by using the links below:
Canada, Selected Service Records of Soldiers, 1914-1918 Free Index
Canada, Selected Service Records of War Dead, 1939-1945 Free Index
TORONTO, ON (December 15, 2010) – Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history resource, has launched online two new collections of military records from the First and Second World Wars.
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) carefully selected these records from their holdings, which provide rich detail about the experiences of soldiers in the two World Wars. These records were digitized as part of the Lest We Forget workshops – an initiative designed to connect students with the stories of Canadians who served and died in war.
The collections, Selected Service Records of Soldiers, 1914-1918 and Selected Service Records of War Dead, 1939-1945, are fully searchable by the soldier’s name, birth and death date and keyword and provide unprecedented information about soldiers’ lives during their time serving in the military.
Individual soldiers’ records in the collections contain up to three dozen forms detailing their enlistment, training, medical and dental history, hospitalization, discipline, pay, and discharge or notification of death, painting a rich picture of their lives and often tragic experiences.
Selected Service Records of Soldiers, 1914-1918 contains a sampling of approximately 100 individuals who served in the First World War. Amongst these documents is personal correspondence from the few surviving complete service files which have been recently released by LAC.
Selected Service Records of War Dead, 1939-1945 includes the enlistment records, medical and dental charts, evaluation reports, medal and promotion entitlements, letters (personal, military and recommendations), wills and inventory of personal effects of approximately 100 soldiers from the Second World War Service Files.
These new records add to what is already the largest online collection of Canadian military records found anywhere in the world, one that includes the Soldiers of the First World War, a collection of attestation papers for nearly 600,000 Canadian soldiers who fought in the ‘War to End All Wars’.
Ancestry.ca genealogist Lesley Anderson comments: “There are so many Canadians with ancestors who fought in the two world wars - many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice - and so it is important that new generations continue to learn about their stories through workshops such as Lest We Forget.
Access to these collections, along with the other 128 million historical Canadian records available at Ancestry.ca, is part of the reason the company was recently short-listed by Canada’s History Society for the 2010 Pierre Berton Award, Canada’s top history prize, recognizing excellence in bringing Canada’s history to a wider popular audience.