World War 2 Canadian records are restricted. But they can be accessed and they can include documentation about enlistment, discharge, military units served with, and may also include other documents concerning medical history, medals awarded, personal evaluation reports and dental charts.
Library and Archives Canada holds military service files for those who served after 1918. Their website explanation of who can access what files and how to obtain them may be confusing, so I'll share with you what I did. It was simple.
I wrote a one page letter requesting the complete military service files for [individual's name] who was born [individual's full birth date or estimated year] in [name of city/town plus county and province in Ontario] to parents [names of father and mother].
I included my uncle's death date and a photograph of his tombstone as proof of death. Interestingly enough they actually returned the photo to me!
That was it. I mailed the letter and photo to
ATIP and Personnel Records Division
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4
You can also fax your request to them at this number: 613-947-8456
Your request can be written as a letter or you can print off a blank copy of the Application for Military Service Information form [PDF 663 KB] also available in Rich Text Format [RTF 44,516 KB], which should be filled in, signed and sent by mail or fax.
After a wait of about 5 months a very large package arrived with Uncle
Clare's complete military file. I estimate there are about 80 or more
pages. The wait was not unexpected as it is made clear on the Library
& Archives Canada website that they are backlogged and requests can
take up to 6 months to fill.
|Huge envelope arrives|
There was a lot of interesting information in the military file for Uncle Clare - such as details of his work history prior to enlisting. It include what he was paid! I wish my dad's files had been as complete.
|Lots of pages to read!|
But I'm really enjoying reading through his files to find out where he went during the war (to England and France) and what he saw and did during that difficult time.
For more information on finding ancestors who were in the Canadian Military during other years you might want to check out The Canadian Military Project
For WW1 personnel files you can view these online. Library and Archives Canada has scanned and uploaded the full files to the online CEF Searchable database.