Canadian Forces- World War One



One hundred years since World War One and many nations were involved. This included Canada, a commonwealth nation of the United Kingdom. The Library and Archives of Canada have worked and are continuing on making digital the personnel records of servicemen during WW I — the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files (includes nurses), Royal Newfoundland Regiment and Newfoundland Forestry Corps.

There are 640,000 files in boxes numbered to 10686 to be made digital. To date, mid-2017, they have 461,575 files online in their database — Personnel Records of the First World War. The database is now up to box # 7834 which would be surnames beginning with ‘Pi’. A few surnames are out of order, but when completed, all names with be on the database.

On the homepage, right under ‘Personnel Records of the First World War‘, is ‘Search database’. Click there to begin the research. Start with search a family surname, since given names could be different than what you know. If a very common surname, then use one given name.

If you find a name that might be an ancestor, click on it. More details of who and where there were from is listed. Check birth date, remember the day then month and year is listed in that order. Most important would be that digital copy of the actual service record. You can click on that digital original record to enlarge it and save if to your computer. Most have a page 1 and 2, so do go to that page also for info. The digital original file can also be saved as a PDF file, a button just below the name listing is available.

Not all people who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during WW One were native or an immigrant to Canada. Many were residents of USA and did not qualify physically for the American forces, so they joined the Canadian. So you do need to check all males born 1870s to 1905.  

Photos: 1918 – John Thomas Kershaw, born in England, lived in USA but served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force – pages 1 and 2; and Canadian Expeditionary Force-55th Battalion (Infantry).

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

WW One and other Sources

USA Draft Registrations – WW One

Ancestors of World War I

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