August 20, 2014

Limited Time Free Access to Canadian Military Records, and New Records Online

Free Access:  Ancestry.ca is providing free access to select military records from some of the most popular collections, from November 8th to 12th, including records covering Soldiers of the First World War, the Rebellion of 1837 and the War of 1812, which can be accessed by visiting www.ancestry.ca/11remembrance.

Also, in honor of Remembrance Day, on November 1, 2012  Ancestry.ca announced the launch of more than 1.5 million new historical Canadian military records spanning more than 100 years.  The following press release offers up all the details:

TORONTO (November 1, 2012) –

These new records, covering the First and Second World Wars, highlight the everyday lives of soldiers who served their country. The records which include military awards, service records and information on pay, will provide Canadians with a greater understanding of the men and women who fought in the conflicts that helped define this nation.

Two brand new Canadian collections: Canada, Military Honours and Award Citation Cards, 1900-1961, and Canada, Nominal Rolls and Paylists for the Volunteer Militia, 1857-1922, along with 30,000 new records in the existing Canada, War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Casualty, 1914-1948 collection, will be of great interest to any Canadians with military ancestors.  Ancestry.ca has also added the UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 & 1939-1947 collection, which includes graves and memorials for Canadian soldiers who fought in the First and Second World Wars.

“Remembrance Day is such an emotional time for Canadians to reflect on the people who made the brave and often ultimate sacrifice for this nation and its ideals,” says Lesley Anderson, a genealogist and Content Manager at Ancestry.ca. “We are so happy and proud to be able to provide a forum for Canadians to discover more details about their military ancestors and the lives they lived through the preservation and digitization of these rare historical records.”

The collections, which launch on November 1, 2012, include:

Canada, Military Honours and Award Citation Cards, 1900-1961containing almost 70,000 records documenting awards and honours received by Canadian service personnel, both men and women. Some records include valuable and rare information on the soldiers’ next of kin, a physical description, their home address and a description of the meritorious action.

Canada, Nominal Rolls and Paylists for the Volunteer Militia, 1857-1922contains more than one million records that provide detailed information about a soldier’s everyday life, including payroll. The records also include travelling expenses, battalion or regiment, rank, pay for the use of a horse and signature of the member for received pay. These small details can help paint a richer picture of the day-to-day routine of Canada’s servicemen and women.

UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 & 1939-1947contains more than 500,000 records and includes information from both World Wars. The records list names of grave sites and memorials maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and document who is buried in a cemetery and where, names of people with no known grave, next-of-kin and a history of military action in the area. The collection includes burial and memorial sites in about 150 different countries.

Canada, War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Casualty, 1914-1948contains almost 30,000 new records added to the existing collection already available on Ancestry.ca. The collection includes military burial documents from Canada, as well as casualty records from the U.S., prisoners of war and members of the Australian Air Force, Polish Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The collections also provide opportunities for Canadians to learn the details of service of some of the nation’s most famous soldiers, including:

  • William Avery “Billy” Bishop – As a pilot in the First World War, Bishop achieved 72 kills, which made him the top Canadian ace in that war and earned him a Victoria Cross. The Toronto City Centre Airport is named after the award-winning Air Marshal.
  • William George Barker – A pilot in the First World War, Barker is the most decorated war hero in Canadian history. Only two other servicemen have received as many medals from the British Empire for gallantry.
  • John Weir Foote – Is the only member of the Canadian Chaplains’ Services to be awarded the Victoria Cross. In the Second World War, after a battle in Dieppe, France, Foote surrendered to the German Forces as a prisoner in order to be of help to the men that were captured. He remained with these men in captivity for almost three years.
  • Helen Elizabeth Hansen – A Nursing Sister during the First World War, Hansen was awarded a military medal in 1919 for distinguished service in the field. She was known to be ready for any duty, while always remaining cool and courageous.

 

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