Wednesday, December 15, 2010 Digitizes Records from the Lest We Forget Workshops

Today, released a press release saying that they have taken the records from the Lest We Forget Workshops of the Library and Archives website, and have put them online.

This program was run through the Library and Archives for a number of years through their Education Centre, but it was closed this year (March 30, 2010), because of lack of funds.

In part, the press release says, "The collections, Selected Service Records of Soldiers, 1914-1918 and Selected Service Records of War Dead, 1939-1945, are fully-searchable by the soldier's name, birth and death date, and keyword, and provide unprecedented information about soldiers' lives during their time serving in the military."

Individual soldiers' records in the collections contain up to three dozen forms detailing their enlistment, training, medical and dental history, hospitalization, discipline, pay, and discharge or notification of death, painting a rich picture of their lives and often tragic experiences.

Selected Service Records of Soldiers, 1914-1918 contains a sampling of approximately 100 individuals who served in the First World War. Amongst these documents is personal correspondence from the few surviving complete service files which have been recently released by LAC.

Selected Service Records of War Dead, 1939-1945 includes the enlistment records, medical and dental charts, evaluation reports, medal and promotion entitlements, letters (personal, military and recommendations), wills, and inventory of personal effects of approximately 100 soldiers from the Second World War Service Files.

These new records add to what is already the largest online collection of Canadian military records found anywhere in the world, one that includes the Soldiers of the First World War, a collection of attestation papers for nearly 600,000 Canadian soldiers who fought in the 'War to End All Wars'. genealogist Lesley Anderson comments: "There are so many Canadians with ancestors who fought in the two world wars - many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice - and so it is important that new generations continue to learn about their stories through workshops such as Lest We Forget".