Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Canada, Selected Service Records

Ancestry.ca in cooperation with Library and Archives Canada have placed free online 200 selective service records samples, part of the “Lest We Forget” educational effort which allows students to discover the stories of Canada’s fallen through primary documents.

Files for First World War veterans include approximately 20 pages of documents for each soldier that can deal with enlistment, training, wounds and medical issues, and correspondence, both military and personal. It gives a good idea of what's available in hardcopy, much more than the online attestation paper. 

Files for the war dead of 1939-1945 are typically much more complete containing:

  • Enlistment records
  • Medical and dental charts
  • Evaluation reports
  • Medal and promotion entitlements
  • Letters (personal, military, and recommendations)
  • Wills
  • Inventory of personal effects
These documents can include a wide range of details:
  • Birth information
  • Physical descriptions
  • Occupation and employment
  • Education
  • Names of parents, siblings, spouse, and children
  • Addresses for family
  • Military units, squadrons, or names of ships served aboard
  • Cause of death, burial details, and estate records
  • Grave locations
  • Requests regarding survivor’s benefits

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