28 May 2012

Don't overlook the Last Post

At Ottawa's DNA (Genetic Genealogy) interest group meeting on Saturday we were told about a project to identify the WW2 era Canadian serviceman father of a British child -- one of those wartime romances.

Unfortunately there is no list of the 1,159,000 men and women who served in the Canadian Armed Forces during WW2. The person doing the investigation had only the father's first name, and had been going through the list of Canadian WW2 fatalities, there were 44,093 of them, trying to narrow down which one of them it might be.

You have slightly better odds of finding him if you search in the Canadian Legion Magazine Last Post database of 195,906 names. That's still less than 20% of those who served.

Why, 60 years after the end of the war, are Canadians not given access to a list with the same name, rank and service number a captured serviceman was allowed to give to the enemy during the war?

1 comment:

Bryan Douglas Cook said...

Thanks John for the useful posting on the LAST POST. If your serviceman died in the war the files are accessible from LAC. If not, then you need a full name and various proofs to access a specific file. I applaud your call to at least publish a list of names, service reg number and regimental / squadron affiliation.The Last Post is very useful but the veteran has to have died to make the listing which itself is partial as joining the Legion and notifying them of death are both voluntary. Bryan Cook