Showing posts with label First World War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First World War. Show all posts

Friday, April 17, 2015

An incredible number of letters!!!



Ancestry.com has put on a great First World War record set – Canadians who fought under the Imperial Army, Navy, or Air, and who were entitled to payment under the Imperial War Service Gratuities, 1919-1921.

You may ask - Why would a Canadian enlist in England? Why wouldn’t he enlist in Canada?

Yes, normally he would enlist in Canada. But what if he was in England at the time that the First World War broke out? What would happen then?

He would enlist in the British troops, and this is exactly where Edward Barcley, from Debert, Nova Scotia, found himself. He was in England visiting his parents at the time.

The record set contains letters. Many letters!

And if you are a descendent of Edward Barcley of Debert, Nova Scotia, you will know, as it is written in one of the many letters you can search at Ancestry.com, that he was sent as an ‘immigrant boy’ - from a Middlemore Home to Canada in 1906! He came with his brother and sister (although he doesn't name them).

This is incredible information – right from the immigrant’s mouth, so to speak.

It just goes to show you, that when you start to search records - you will never know what you will find!!!!!!!!!!

So if you can't find them in the Canadian records, but you know he or she was in the First World War, then check these records. They might be here.

The website is at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=9149



Check the Canadian Week in Review every Monday morning for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada.

If you missed this week’s edition, it is at http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2015/04/canadian-week-in-review-13-april-2015_13.html

It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in Canada!

It has been a regular post every Monday morning since April 23, 2012.


 

 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

BRAVO! The LAC has listened …

Attestation Paper for Thomas Cussons, regimental no. 675270, Canadian Expeditionary Force personnel files, RG 150, accession number Accession 1992-93/166, Box 2057 – 51; (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/image.aspx?Image=073302a&URLjpg=http%3a%2f%2fdata2.archives.ca%2fcef%2fgat1%2f073302a.gif&Ecopy=073302a); accessed 15 April 2015); Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Canada.

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) today released the latest news on digitizing the First World War Service files. Not only did they say that 143,613 of 640,000 files are available online via their Soldiers of the First World War: 1914-1918 website, but for the first time, they have released the surnames of the soldiers that they have digitized. 

Thank heavens! It was a never-ending guessing game whether I should go ahead and request a file, and go to the LAC and take photos of the record, or view it online. I never knew which I should do.

But I had written to them a month ago and asked them if they would tell us where they are on the digitizing scheme of things, and now they have. So bravo to the LAC!

The latest digitized box is #2057, which corresponds to the surname Thomas Cussons. I looked up the name, and it is there – the full service record!

So, hopefully, this little addition to the LAC blog will make a difference to researchers out there. Now I must write a letter of “Thanks” to the people who are working on the boxes.

The website for the First World War Service files is http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/canadian-expeditionary-force.aspx



Check the Canadian Week in Review every Monday morning for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada.

If you missed this week’s edition, it is at http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2015/04/canadian-week-in-review-13-april-2015_13.html

It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in Canada!

It has been a regular post every Monday morning since April 23, 2012/

Thursday, April 9, 2015

April 9 - Vimy Ridge Day in Canada


Vimy Ridge was a battle in which Canadians fought in the First World War. It was part of a larger battle of Arras in northern France. It began on Easter Monday, and about 30,000 Canadians fought at Vimy Ridge and claimed victory. 3,600 Canadians were killed, with many wounded.

There is a special exhibit in London right now until September 2015, and then will travel across the country, and it is called the Souterraine Impression.

This exhibition illuminates the lives of Canadian veterans through the deeply personal carvings and drawings made by soldiers concealed in the allied caves and trenches near Vimy Ridge, France.

Organized by Zenon Andrusyszyn, Souterraine Impressions “will bring reproductions of site-specific artifacts to Canada through contemporary 3-dimensional printing, allowing audiences a rare glimpse at these personal documents created while Canadian soldiers awaited orders to join the now legendary Battle for Vimy Ridge. While not a great military success, the battle has subsequently become for Canada a symbol of national unity, achievement and tremendous sacrifice”.

Visitors will see “a series of "tableaus” containing one of the reproduced carvings, a photograph of the soldier who created it and a short biography. While many of the carvings feature regimental or battalion badges, there are also carvings of hearts, animals and names’.

You can go to the museum in London at http://www.museumlondon.ca/exhibitions:115 to get particulars on the exhibit.

Meanwhile, there are news articles today in the papers, and some of them are -

Honouring the memory of Vimy Ridge
http://www.melfortjournal.com/2015/04/07/honouring-the-memory-of-vimy-ridge

New Vimy Foundation poll reveals majority of Canadians believe 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge in 2017 should be focus of Canada's Sesquicentennial
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1514029/new-vimy-foundation-poll-reveals-majority-of-canadians-believe-100th-anniversary-of-vimy-ridge-in-2017-should-be-focus-of-canada-s-sesquicentennial

Three Quarters of Canadians (74%) Believe 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge in 2017 Should Be One of Canada’s Most Important Celebrations During Sesquicentennial 
http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&type=user&func=display&sid=33787

Ninety-eight years later, historian finds ‘missing’ soldiers from the Battle of Vimy Ridge 
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/ninety-eight-years-later-historian-finds-missing-soldiers-from-the-battle-of-vimy-ridge

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pictures of First World War Valcartier Camp, Quebec on Flickr



The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has put pictures of the First World War soldiers stationed at Valcartier Camp, Quebec on Flickr. The LAC says that - 
 
‘With a small army of approximately 3,000 soldiers, a small navy, and some militia units, Canada was able to enlist about 35,000 men in a matter of a few months. They were stationed at Valcartier Camp situated northwest of Québec City for initial training and formed into battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and into a division—the 1st Canadian Division.
 
Comprising 31,000 men, the Division was sent overseas by convoy for further training at Salisbury Plain in England where it continued training through the winter of 1914, and was finally sent to France in February 1915’. 
 
 


Check the Canadian Week in Review every Monday morning for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada.

If you missed this week’s edition, it is at 
http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2015/03/canadian-week-in-review.html


 It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in Canada!

It has been a regular post every Monday morning since
April 23, 2012.
 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Crowd sourcing transcription - is it useful?



Everyone knows that people have been busy at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) digitizing the service files of the men and women who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War.

Now, it is disclosed that 1,000 files (which is a small sample) of the medical records section of the service files - the form of temperature charts, dental records and medical case sheets has been transcribed and given to the public.

Read about it at http://blog.muninn-project.org/node/79

The press release says that “The transcribed data generated has value for researchers in handwriting recognition, and archival and medical institutions’. What about genealogists – we use these papers in our research too! 
So how useful is this form of transcription? Is crowd sourcing transcription a good way to do it? How accurate will it be? They say it will be verified by computer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

LAC Update: Digitization of First World War Service Files


 
As of today, 125,954 of 640,000 files are available online at the Soldiers of the First World War website at Library and Archives Canada. So they are s-l-o-w-l-y making progress.
 
 


Check the Canadian Week in Review every Monday morning for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada.

If you missed this week’s edition, it is at http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2015/02/canadfian-news-in-review-16-february.html

It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in Canada!

It has been a regular post every Monday morning since April 23, 2012

Friday, January 16, 2015

GANS "Lest We Forget" Workshop

On January 24th, the Genealogists Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) is hosting a workshop called Lest We Forget Workshop, led by two representatives of the Halifax Public Libraries, to work hands-on with First World War military services files for both soldiers and nursing sisters.

There is no cost for this workshop.

According to their press release, "After a brief introduction to Canadian military records, each participant will be given a real Canadian Expeditionary Forces service file of a Nova Scotian soldier or nursing sister, with the task of finding out their personal war story. At the end of the workshop, participants will share their discoveries and questions with the rest of the group. Halifax Public Library staff Joanne McCarthy O'Leary and Vicki Clark will be on hand to assist with research and advice on further research. Please see flyer attached with times and location".

This is restricted to 25 participants, so register soon to secure your spot.

To register, send an email to membership@novascotiaancestors.ca

The GANS website is http://www.novascotiaancestors.ca

The Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/NovaScotiaAncestors

If you haven’t done so alreay, remember to check the Canadian Week in Review Monday morning for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada.

If you missed this week’s edition, it is at http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2015/01/canadian-week-in-review-12-january-2015.html

It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in Canada!

It has been a regular post every Monday morning since April 23, 2012.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

LAC Podcast - Sign Me Up: CEF Files, 1914-1918


The Library and Archives Canada has issued a another podcast, and this one concerns the First World War Service Papers in Sign Me Up: CEF Files, 1914-1918. These papers are being digitized and are being put online.

I listened to the podcasts, and although nothing new was mentioned in the podcasts, I feel that there will be questions that will still be asked about the papers. The researcher will have to study the various papers in detail in order to reconstruct the life of the soldier. For example, if the soldier was in the Canadian militia before signing the Attestation Paper, what militia unit was it, where were they located, what was his service, or if he served in different regiments while overseas (which many did), why was this so? Who did he serve with, his time of service, in what battles was he involved, and so forth.

I had the occasion to download a complete service record a couple of weeks ago, and depending on the length of the records, it can be a rather long process from start to finish. Some of the records were difficult to read because of the use of abbreviations, and the faded ink, but some of the papers were very clear.

I think the best thing to do before one starts to read the service papers is to read the book, Canadians at War 1914-1919: A Research Guide to World War One Service Records, by retired Library and Archives Canada archivist, Glenn Wright.

This book, although it was written in 2010, is still THE book to read when researching CEF papers. If you read and study this book, you will have a good understanding of the records that you are viewing.

The book is for sale through Global Genealogy at http://globalgenealogy.com/countries/canada/military/resources/101160.htm

Don't forget to scroll down this page and see the book review I wrote for Families, the journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) http://www.ogs.on.ca, of which I am its editor.

Although the review was published four years ago, my opinion of his book has not wavered, and, in fact, the more I use it for research, the more invaluable I find it as a resource.

A table of contents of the book is available as a PDF file here - http://globalgenealogy.com/countries/canada/military/resources/images/101160-contents.pdf

For more on this blog, go to http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-list-of-books-for-holidays.html

To listen to the podcast, go to http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/news/podcasts/Pages/cef-files-1914-1918.aspx

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Archives of Ontario - First World War Exhibit

The Archives of Ontario (AO), in Toronto, has put on an exhibit of a First World War family where six brothers enlisted. The exhibit is called The McLean Brothers of Sunderland,Ontario Real Genealogy Stories WWI Exhibit in the Archives Reading Room on the main floor, just to the left of the reception desk.

This is the story about of six brothers of the same family who enlisted together to take part in the Canadian war efforts. In partnership with guest curator Paul Hector this exhibit uses AO genealogical records to bring a very unique First World War family story to life.

I made my yearly trek to the AO in April of this year, and spent two days there, and accomplished a lot of client research. It is a fantastic facility, with a friendly, helpful staff. And it has a manuscript holdings that you can loose yourself in – I was impressed!

At that time they were busy gathering material for the exhibit, and I am glad that they were able to put it together. So if you are in Toronto, you should plan to visit.


They also have another exhibit online that you can visit - Dear Sadie – Loves, Lives, and Remembrance from Ontario’s First World War.

In this exhibit, you can read about four different families and what happened to them during the First World War. This exhibit “highlights the impact that the war had on individual lives”. 


I plan to return next June to do more research.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Heritage Gaspe/Heritage Gaspesie presents “Generation Sacrificed – The Gaspe Soldiers of the Great War 1914-1918”.

Tom Eden will present a photo and information exhibit, which will be held at St. James Anglican Church, from July 28-August 2nd. It will consists of 10 panels, each with a different theme outlining the activities of the war and the sacrifice of the lives of these young Gaspesians. Tom will also be available to share his project with the community at a conference to be held on August 2nd. 

A tour of the old Wakeham cemetery will take place as well as a pamphlet on the history of the church will be made available. The exhibit is free of charge but a good will offering would be appreciated. All proceeds will go towards St. James Church.

The conference will be held August 2nd at 1:30 p.m. in St-James Church, Wakeham. The photo exhibit will be held July 28 to August 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. also at St-James Church, Wakeham.

Foe information, go to http://gaspesie.quebecheritageweb.com/attractions-and-tours

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Heritage Dinner at Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario

Jack Granatstein will be the guest speaker at the 24th annual Heritage Dinner on May 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm. at the Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. 

He will talk about  his current work on the last 100 days of World War I, its losses and the unbelievable impact these days had on Canada. 

In addition to a sit-down and served dinner, there will be a silent auctions and dessert auctions taking place. 

Tickets are $75 with a $40 tax receipt available. Tickets can be purchased online at  http://huroniamuseum.com/2014/03/26/3702 or at the museum directly at 549 Little Lake Park Road, Midland Ontario. 

You call 705.526.2844 for more information.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Remembering the Fallen in Canada

A new app for the iPad has been created for Remembrance Day as an interactive experience, giving Canadians a way to remember those who have given their lives in service to our country.

Click on the red poppy (I clicked on the poppy on Halifax, and discovered the story of The Sisters of Mercy – the Canadian Nursing Sisters, part of the Canadian Army Medical Corps of the First World War), but they have graves from the Boer War, through the World Wars, Korean War, our Peacekeeping Missions and Afghanistan.

The website is http://www.thefallen.org/

Friday, May 10, 2013

UPDATE: Ancestry.ca - Canada, Soldiers of the First World War, 1914-1918



R.F.C. Canada. Machine Gun Practice, Camp Mohawk, Desoronto, Ont. 1918 Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada

Ancestry.ca has updated this database which contains an index to the Attestation papers of men enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) of the First World War.

Information contained in the database includes:

•Name of enlistee

•Address

•Birthplace

•Birth date

•Age

•Name of next of kin

•Relationship to next of kin

•Regimental number

Additional information about the enlistee, such as their occupation, marital status, religion, and/or physical description may be found on the original record. Be sure to view the corresponding image in order to obtain all possible information about the individual.

The website is at http://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=1086

There are now 598,682 images online.

For more information about the collection, please see the follow page on the Library and Archives Canada website at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/index-e.html

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ancestry.ca UPDATE: Free Access

The publicity department of Ancestry.ca has sent me the news that they will be offering FREE access to their collection of First World War historical records from April 9th to 12th.

This is in recognition of Canada's part in the defeat of the enemy in the Battle of Vimy which was highlighted by me in yesterday's post entitled Pictures and Story of the Week: The Battle of Vimy Ridge at http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2013/04/newupdated-canadian-websites-blogs.html

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rare War Medal Find Coming Home to Chilliwack, BC


There is an article this morning in the Chilliwack Progress newspaper about how the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society were able to bring the medals awarded to members of the Coots family back home to British Columbia.

The medals were from the First World War, and acquired at an auction at Norfolk, England in late December.

The article says that “The collection consists of 12 medals awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Leslie Coote and his son Captain Ian Vernon Coote of Chilliwack for their military service. It also includes a written account from Lieutenant Russel “Ginger” Leslie Coote — Andrew Coote’s second son — documenting his remarkable wartime experiences”.

Read the article at www.theprogress.com/news/187313381.html

If you want to learn more about the medals given to Canadians who  fought in the wars and conflicts that the country has been involved in, go to Medals, Honours and Awards at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/medals/index-e.html

Friday, December 21, 2012

Toys and Games in Canada


The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) sent out this notice yesterday about the history of toys in Canada, and pictures on their Flickr album -

"The joyful holiday season is the perfect time to introduce you to the Library and Archives Canada collection of photographs related to games and toys.

Although toys and games have existed since the dawn of time, it was only in the 19th century that the ‟toy” really came into its own in Canada. It was also during the Victorian era that toys and diversion were deemed beneficial to children, thereby kick-starting the mass production of playthings. At first, toys mainly came from England, Germany and the United States, but between 1860 and 1915, some 20 Canadian companies began to manufacture them as well. They were made of wood and generally mimicked miniature furniture, cars or horses.

The First World War slowed toy production in Europe, giving the Canadian toy industry the opportunity to flourish. New toys were produced, particularly battleships and construction sets. This is also when manufacturers started using a wider variety of materials, which resulted in copper, tin, iron, lead, and rubber toys. Plush dolls and animals, small lead soldiers, bugles and trumpets, rubber balls, hockey pucks and even humming tops could also be found.

In the 1940s, plastic was introduced in toy manufacturing; it was used to make rattles, beach toys, tractors, trucks and construction sets, as well as an array of tools. In subsequent years, large multinational companies emerged and completely diversified the toy-making industry".

Various outdoor games, such as croquet and lawn bowling have become popular. Children also enjoy games of strength, string, and chance, which are featured in our new Flickr album at www.flickr.com/photos/lac-bac/sets/72157631912501393

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Twitter Will Preserve Memories of Halifax Explosion

There is a news story this morning in the online newpapers that the Nova Scotia Archives will collect stories about the Halifax explosion which happened on December 6. They are going to do this by the use of Twitter.

They are hoping that Twitter brings in new views and details about the explosion, and the period afterward when Halifax struggled to get on it’s feet again.

The project begins tomorrow which is the 95th anniversary of the harbor front First World War event that devastated Halifax.

About 2,000 people died, and thousands more were injured.

The hashtag is #hfxex1917

You may read about the explosion at the Nova Scotia Archives where they have a Virtual Exhibit, a Remembrance Book, and a film “The Way We Were: Nova Scotia in Film, 1917-1957.”

The website is http://gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/default.asp?Search=THexp

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

2014 Will Be The Centennial of the First World War


One place where Canada is starting to plan commemoration of the First World War in 2014 is Kenora, Ontario.

Canada declared war on Germany August 5, 1914 following Britain who had declared war a day earlier.  

Over the next four years, 620,000 Canadians, and over 400,000 would serve overseas on the battlefields of France. 67,000 Canadian servicemen, and women died, and 173,000 were wounded. There were over a thousand local men from Kenora who joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

The Lake of the Woods Museum, in conjunction with the Kenora Public Library, and local genealogy group Ancestor Seekers of Kenora are undertaking a huge project of producing a data base where they will list every local man and woman who served in the First World War. They will also make biographical sketches on the soldiers, and put any other information that can be supplied by the public for each man and woman.  

Right now, there are over two dozen people who are working on the project, but more are needed.

Tomorrow at 7 p.m. the museum will be hosting an information, and training session for volunteers who would like to help with research.

If you want more information, you can go to the Ancestor Seekers of Kenora webpage at http://askgen.ning.com to read more about the project.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Canadian Soldier Sikhs: A Little Story in a Big War


A film is being made by Canada's David R. Gray about ten Sikh men who enlisted in the Canadian Army in the First World War. As the website says, the film "follows the men through the enlistment process, training, and transport to France by troopship. It features the struggles these Sikh soldiers faced and the battles they fought, including those during which two of the men were killed".

The producers of the film are looking for assistance from people who travel to India, and may be able to contact the relatives and descendants of the ten Canadian Sikh soldiers. And they are looking for photos of any of these Canadian Sikh soldiers.

You contact the producers at grayhound@xplornet.com. The website is http://canadiansoldiersikhs.ca.


Postscript # 1 I have just been informed by Sandeep Singh Brar of the website at  http://www.sikhmuseum.com/buckam which honours "Private Buckam Singh: Discovering a Canadian Hero" - the first Sikh to enlist in the First World War with an Ontario battalion. 

The website says that "Buckam Singh came to B.C. from Punjab in 1907 at age 14 and eventually moved to Toronto in 1912/1913. He enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the spring of 1915. He's one of the earliest known Sikhs living in Ontario at the time as well as one of only 9 Sikhs that we know of that served with Canadian troops in WWI".

Postscript # 2 According to a story in the Ottawa Citizen, there are a number of tunnels in France that have etchings in them. They are a reminder of the Canadian veterans who stayed in the tunnels in the wintertime while waiting to fight the Germans in the First World War.

There will be a travelling art exhibit of the etchings that will cross Canada in 2014, the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the war.


Tomorrow's Post: Wreath Laying in Ottawa

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 <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/index-e.html>, 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 Ancestry.ca 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 <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-300.001-e.html>.