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British Columbia Military Records

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World War I (1914–1918)

Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) service records for soldiers, officers, medical staff and chaplains are held by Library and Archives (LAC) Canada.  Canadian World War I service records are open to researchers. Some files are already on-line; others may be requested. To request information, please see first the LAC on-line index of attestation papers "Soldiers of the CEF - WW I" for the required information - name, rank, and regiment (if known).

Service records give detailed information from enlistment to demobilization (discharge). They may include:

  • Birth date and place
  • Address at time of enlistment
  • Name and address of next of kin
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Personal description (eye and hair color, height, weight, distinctive marks or scars)
  • Religion

Royal Canadian Navy and Naval Reserve (1910-1941) service files, including some records of the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve, are also held by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and are sometimes known as "Navy Pay Ledger Sheets". These contain information on officers, cadets and sailors and are almost complete for the period including WW I. Note that as some personnel transferred between the Navy and the Naval Reserve, individuals may have two service numbers and two ledger sheets. These records are not digitized but there is an on-line LAC index and copies may be ordered. Records may include

  • Full name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Physical description
  • Name and address of next of kin
  • Dates of service
  • Names of the ships served in

Library and Archives Canada website:

To learn more about LAC's military collections and ordering copies:

British Columbia War Memorials

British Columbia War Memorials: An Index of Names, originally published in 1984; revised and published in 1990 by the British Columbia Genealogical Society (BCGS) is an index of names of war dead as listed on BC war memorials, cenotaphs and honour rolls. Contact the BCGS for more information  (This publication is currently being revised for publication in 2014.)

British Columbia War Memorials, although incomplete, is an on-line source of photographs and details about BC war memorials, originally supported by the We Will Remember educational project.

British Columbia military and related museums

Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, Burnaby
Canadian Military Education Centre, Chilliwack
Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site, Colwood
CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum, Esquimalt
Rocky Mountain Rangers Museum, Kamloops
Okanagan Military Museum, Kelowna
Comox Air Force Museum, Lazo
Vancouver Island Military Museum, Nanaimo
Royal Westminster Regiment Historical Society and Museum, New Westminster
12 Service Battalion Museum, Richmond
Regimental Museum of the BC Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own), Vancouver
Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Regimental Museum and Archives, Vancouver
15th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA Museum and Archives, Vancouver
Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society, Vancouver
5th (BC) Regiment Museum, Victoria
Lieutenant-General E.C. Ashton Garrison Museum, Victoria
Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) Regimental Museum, Victoria

MemoryBC has searchable descriptions of the holdings of a number of these BC museums, as well as their contact details, hours and addresses, including the 15th Field Artillery Regiment, the Rocky Mountain Rangers Museum. 

See also these Canadian government websites.

Honours and History, Dept. of National Defence, Canada

Canadian Military History Gateway

Canadian War Museum and Library

Other Resources

Many local archives, museums, libraries and Royal Canadian Legion branches have research files or projects on local military service people.

Additional information may be found in historical British Columbia newspapers and publications.