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Description found in Archives

Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada fonds [multiple media]. 

Date(s)

1912-1923

Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

ca. 1068.15 m of textual records
46 microfilm reels
204 maps mss., some ink on tracing linen, some blueprints, hand col., some brownline prints, hand col. 124 x 142 cm or smaller.
38 technical drawings chiefly ink on tracing linen, some blueprints 74 x 107 cm or smaller.
6 pieces 4 ink on tracing linen, 2 blackline prints 46 x 67 cm or smaller.
5 architectural drawings mss., 1 ink on tracing linen, 3 blueprints 98 x 77 cm or smaller.

English
Added language of material: French

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records created by the Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada in the course of administering Canada's contribution to the First World War. Researchers are cautioned that unprocessed textual records and records in other media are not reflected in this description.

Multiple media - for use in descriptive records only
96: Restrictions vary
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Copyright belongs to the Crown.

Finding aids are available. See lower level descriptions and accession records in ArchiviaNet (the NA website). (Other)

Biography / Administrative history

The "Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada" was created by an Order in Council (P.C. 2651, October 28, 1916). This Ministry formalized an earlier arrangement, whereby Colonel John Wallace Carson, by an Order in Council (P.C. 107, January 15, 1915) had acted as the agent of the Minister of Militia and Defence in England.

The Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada had broad responsibility for all matters connected with the administration of the overseas military forces of Canada (i.e. the Canadian Expeditionary Force). It was formed "to relieve the Department of Militia and Defence of the administration of the forces overseas and to establish a ministry in London, immediately in touch with His Majesty's Government, and conveniently situated with relation to the theatre of effective operations" (P.C. 2651, October 28, 1916). In a sentence, whereas the Canadian Expeditionary Force was placed under the control of the British military authorities for operational purposes, responsibility for all other matters fell to the Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada.

The Ministry functioned as the liaison between the Canadian government and the British government, the War Office and (British) General Headquarters. It operated in close concert with the Department of Militia and Defence in Ottawa, which was responsible for raising, equipping, dispatching the Canadian Expeditionary Force overseas.

The Ministry was organized like other ministries, with its own minister in the federal cabinet and a deputy minister. It was divided into a number of subordinate branches, including the Chief of the General Staff, the Adjutant-General, the Quartermaster-General, the Accountant-General, the Director-General of Medical Services and the Paymaster-General. Sir George Perley was appointed the first Minister of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada on October 31, 1916. He was succeeded by Sir Edward Kemp on October 12, 1917.

With the end of conflict in Europe, the repatriation of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), and the final settlement of financial arrangements with the British, the Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada ceased to exist on June 8, 1920 (P.C. 1705, July 26, 1920).

Additional information

Custodial history
Records of this fonds relating to members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force serving overseas were held at the central registry of the Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada in London, at satellite records offices such as Tidworth (Canadian Training Depot) and Shorncliffe (Canadian Training Division), as well as at the Canadian Records Office (responsible for statistics) and the Canadian War Records Office (which collected documentation for the purposes of producing narratives of Canada's military effort). For those serving in Canada, they were held at the Department of Militia and Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. After the war, all records relating to Canada's war effort were consolidated in Ottawa.

Accruals
No further accruals are expected. This fonds is closed.

Related materials
See also the fonds of the Ministry of Militia and Defence and the Department of National Defence.

Government

Other system control no.