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Banner: From Colony to Country: A Reader's Guide to Canadian Military History

Canadian Military History: An Overview
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South African War
First World War
Second World War

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Canadian Military History: An Overview
Personal Stories

Biographical and Genealogical Information: General

Many published and unpublished military records serve to document the lives of those who served in Canada's armed forces, either as full-time professional soldiers, sailors or airmen, or in part-time militia or reserve service, or for periods of their lives in times of national emergency, as during the two World Wars.

The concept of "personnel files," collections of official correspondence and reports, as well as information taken at the time of recruitment, medical data, and even material concerning an individual's life after leaving military service, all arranged around an individual name, did not come into widespread use in Canada until the South African War and again at the outbreak of the First World War. Most existing personnel files have been preserved in the Library and Archives Canada and are invaluable sources for biographical and genealogical research. However, even without personnel files, military records can be used to build up a picture of an individual's life and service career. These five articles demonstrate how published and unpublished documents can be interwoven to build up a sophisticated and complete account.

Dubé, Timothy. - "Documenting the service of British and Canadian military forces, 1775-1815". - Northwest Ohio quarterly. - vol. 64, no. 2 (Spring 1992). -  p. 56-65

_____. - "Per ardua ad astra: a concise guide to Canadian personnel records and RCAF service information of the Second World War".  - Canadian military history. - vol. 9, no. 1 (Winter 2000). - p. 75-79

_____. - "Tommy Atkins, we never knew ye: documenting the British soldier in Canada, 1759-1871".  - Canadian military history.- vol. 4, no. 1 (Spring 1995). -  p. 113-120

Wright, Glenn. - "Nineteenth century military records in the National Archives: an introduction".  - Families. - vol. 33, no. 4 (November 1994). -  p. 213-221

_____. - "Standing on guard for us: documenting Canadian military service in the twentieth century". - Families. - vol. 33, no. 2 (1994). -  p. 85-97

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