Thursday, November 6, 2008

Attestation Papers of Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)

In 1996, the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) started working on the transcription of the Attestation Papers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) of the First World War. There were 600,000 Canadians who signed up for service in the war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918.

The LAC hired students from Renfrew, Ontario over the summer of 1996 to start work by scanning and processing the images. The Gatineau Preservation Centre Team worked on the project from 1997-1998, and the LAC team worked on it from 1999 to 2000.

You can find the person in the online database at <>, and by putting the name in the search feature, and it will give you the soldier's rank, reference number, the date of birth, and the digitized copy of the Attestation Paper itself, which contains even more information.

Also, one can find chaplains and nurses online in this database.

On the other hand, I see where has issued the Attestation Papers!

They say that the papers were issued to mark Remembrance Day in Canada - but if the Attestation Papers and other information are already on the Canada Genealogy Centre's website - isn't this duplication of effort?

By the way, the "other information" which is available from the CGC is the record of service, casualty form, discharge certificate, war service gratuity, hospital cards, medical history sheet, body temperature chart, last pay certificate, dental history chart, and medical examination upon leaving the service.

You can get this information by simply filing out the form contained online at <>.

1 comment:

M. Diane Rogers said...

I too, Elizabeth, am concerned about unnecessary duplication of Canadian (and other) genealogical indexes.
In the case of this national Canadian database for 'soldiers' of World War I, I am also concerned about the use of our national documents by commercial companies.
Sometimes these companies may be unaware of the scope or significance of the materials and, in turn, users may be unaware of the wealth of related information available at Library and Archives Canada.
The database, for example, does include female nurses, like Margaret Lowe from Binscarth, Manitoba, although Ancestry seems unaware of this. Lowe died of wounds at Étaples in France, May 1918. Three other nursing sisters died there in June, 1918, I believe. The Canadian Virtual War Memorial has related photos and clippings for Margaret Lowe: