I and a few colleagues had an advance opportunity to try the database. While we had a few suggestions for improvement the overwhelming reaction was:
- Nice collection. Super images.
- What a great set of records – the standard dry things you expect to find in military files and then you find the touching letter from a mother wanting more information on her son who is missing in action.
- Being able to search on just the name of small communities will be great help in finding family members researchers may not know about.
According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission 45,368 Canadians lost their lives in WWII. This collection contains files for nearly all of those individuals but "only about 29,000 records have been indexed thus far." There will be an update.
You can search by various indexed fields. I was able to find a Canadian born in my home town in England who served with the Winnipeg Grenadiers, R.C.I.C. He was killed in December 1940 in Hong Kong having recently been married. There's information like the name and address of close relatives in England.
There are two entry points to the file. Either start at the attestation paper or click on "View Folder Cover" which gets to the start of the file where you may well find photos.
Information from Ancestry is the collection will be used by Canadian schools as part of WWII curriculum sponsored by Library and Archives Canada.