wow! lots of info in Canadian military files!

+16 votes
134 views

I didn't know there was so much there!  Looks like every scrap of paper generated was scanned and uploaded! 

This first link (loads quickly) leads to the attestation-type papers:

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=249419  

Then, click on the Digitized Service File - pdf format link to see every scrap of paper that had his name on it!  At least that's what it seems like! Doesn't load really quickly, but has a bar so you can see progress.

This distant cousin of mine was a doctor who signed up in his 50s and went overseas in WWI, probably just to a Canadian hospital in Kent.  Looks like he was invalided out with sciatica after some time.  Seems to have had the rank of some kind of Lieutenant and then Captain, in some kind of medical corp.  Any experts out there who would like to unpack it more for me, that would be great! 

WikiTree profile: Burpee Steeves
in The Tree House by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
This is seriously 'good stuff's.  :-)

Zoom Zoom !! 

3 Answers

+8 votes
 
Best answer
I've spent a lot of time in those military records. Library and Archives Canada is a wonderful site for those military and other records. All for free.

Do read about the types of records found in those military files. The medal card can be a bit confusing at first.  The service card(s) tell where the person was and when during the war. In some cases these may be the only indication of birth. Well worth reading through.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (424k points)
selected by Cindy Cooper
Yes, there's an amazing amount of information in these records. The military uses a lot of Abbreviations including TOS, taken on strength which means entry of the soldier to the unit. It's a big list but more can be found here:

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/Pages/military-abbreviations.aspx

If you want to dig deeper, each unit kept a diary of what they did. So once you know the unit and dates, you can look up and see what they actually did. Some are detailed, some not. Find those here:

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/Pages/war-diaries.aspx

There's much more! Yeah Library and Archives Canada!

I was pleased to see that you have also found the New Brunswick Archives. Burpee has two marriages and his death listed there. The NB Archives is another great, free archive for those who haven't come across it yet (https://archives.gnb.ca/).

+12 votes
I have accessed these files for both my grandfathers and their brothers and cousins. My grandfather's brother was killed in battle and so his mother (my great grandmother) later donated his letters to her. Anything in his military file (including enlistment documents, medical records, digitized copies of these letters, and newspaper articles about his death) were uploaded to his page on this site.

My grandfather was injured so seriously in WWI that he was eventually sent back to Canada. My brother and I were amazed to read his medical records and all other records about him all these years later. I am grateful to the Canadian government for digitizing and uploading all of these records for posterity.
by A. Creighton G2G6 Pilot (646k points)
+3 votes

I've just been using these files. They are even more wonderful when you understand all those abbreviations. LAC graciously explains with Military Abbreviations used in Service Files  https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/Pages/military-abbreviations.aspx

And remember to look into the other files listed on the side bar. Loyalists and British Colonial Era records have made a huge diffrence to my tree.

by Judith Chidlow G2G6 Mach 4 (44.8k points)

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