Soldiers of the First World War - CEF

Over 600,000 men and women enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War (1914-1918) as soldiers, nurses and chaplains. The CEF database is an index to those service files, which are held by Library and Archives Canada.

Licence:

Dataset Resources

Resource Name Format Language Link
Dataset XML Bilingual (English and French) Download
Supporting Documentation HTML English Download
Supporting Documentation HTML French Download
Data Dictionary XML French Download
Data Dictionary XML English Download

Developer Tools

  • The information on this page (the dataset metadata) is also available in JSON format
    Link to JSON format

Comments

  • Megan

    2014-04-08

    Once upon a time a person was able to search the Soldiers of the First Wold War Database with little issue. I have now spend 20minutes following links in circles and still cannot find the database...can you please fix this, or make it even vaguely user friendly?

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-07

    Hello, The Soldiers of the First World War database is available at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx. Thank you and we hope that helps.

  • Lynne Willoughby

    2014-04-09

    Right. I'm with Meagan. Not going to waste my time though.

  • jeff lodge

    2014-04-09

    Change the site back to what it was. Your people have made a mess of something that was fast and easy to use.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    The following comment is posted on behalf of Library and Archives Canada : "Thank you for your feedback. We will work towards improving this web service in the future.” PS: The Soldiers of the First World War database is available at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx Thank you, data.gc.ca (for Library and Archives Canada)

  • Ben

    2014-04-10

    To search Soldiers of the First World War database, please try these 2 links: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/canadian-expeditionary-force.aspx http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx

  • lorne sedore

    2014-04-10

    where is everything? what a mess!!

  • Guest

    2014-04-17

    Money wasted fixing what didn't need fixing! But now it does need fixing: "Regiment Number"?! Is that supposed to be "Regimental Number" or the number of the formation the soldier served in? How could this new page get to the point of publication with such an obvious and elementary mistake!?

  • J.Kaye

    2014-04-18

    How many degrees does one need to find service files? It should be as easy as putting in name and regimental number! Just like our government to make something worthwhile too difficult to navigate, therefore rendering it useless to the average taxpayer.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Hello, The Soldiers of the First World War database at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx should be of help. Thank you.

  • Marc L.

    2014-04-18

    As stated by many others, you guys fixed something that really did not need fixing. You should reinstate the older version of the site. As it stands it takes forever to find something if you can even find it.

  • Hugh A. Halliday

    2014-04-18

    There is no question that the revised website is TERRIBLE. What once was easy to find is now impossible t find. You have created a steam-powered mousetrap. Please restore the former format.

  • Bruce

    2014-04-18

    Soldiers of the First World War database: It was a good information site. Wish it was available again. The only place some info could be found. Where is everything.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Hello, The Soldiers of the First World War database resides at Library and Archives Canada's web site: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx Thank you and we hope that helps.

  • mark

    2014-04-19

    totally a waste of time, what a mess compared to the old site!

  • Karen (Casey) James

    2014-04-21

    This site is a real mess. Only documentation I was able to find was my grandfathers Attestation Paper, which I already had. I am trying to find his actual service records for my Aunt (his daughter) as my father died back in 1976. We want to find my grandfather's actual service record - what he did, where he was stationed, etc

  • smith

    2014-04-21

    Round and round in circles, with no result.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-07

    Comments left in this section should be regarding the "dataset" for the Soldiers of the First World War. For comments about the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx) from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) please contact LAC directly by email: webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca Thank you. data.gc.ca (on behalf of Library and Archives Canada) --- Les commentaires dans cette section devraient porter sur le « jeu de données » des Soldats de la Première Guerre mondiale. Les commentaires à propos de la « base de données » des Soldats de la Première Guerre mondiale (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/fra/decouvrez/patrimoine-militaire/premiere-guerre-mondiale/premiere-guerre-mondiale-1914-1918-cec/Pages/recherche.aspx) de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada (BAC) devraient être transmis directement à BAC par courriel : webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca Merci. donnees.gc.ca (au nom de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada)

  • Rita

    2014-04-26

    very confusing,,, i want to find out my grand dads info and keep going in circles.. i have his attestation papers,, now i want any other info that may be on here.. how do you find it????????? I am very computer literate, but find this site ridiculously confusing.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Comments left in this section should be regarding the "dataset" for the Soldiers of the First World War. For comments about the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx) from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) please contact LAC directly by email: webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca Thank you.

  • Trish Nevin Keleher

    2014-04-27

    This is the worst site to even try to navigate. the database for Soldiers of the Frist World War WAS very easy to locate and use. Just like to government. Easy to use, but hey, lets fix it, so no one can use it. I am not even going to attempt to navigate this!! Change it back to the user friendly verson!!

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Hello, The Soldiers of the First World War database (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx) at Library and Archives Canada's web site should be of help. Thank you.

  • Sher Leetooze

    2014-04-28

    Like all the others who have left comments - this site is the pits!! Why does our government have to make things so hard to use??? What's wrong with a search box to enter a name? Where is the old site? Surely you didn't destroy it when you put this monstrosity online! Just go to the cache and bring back the proper version.... there are so many of us out here who pay our taxes on time and expect to be able to use this site whenever we need it. I for one am researching a book and the valuable information you hold is now no longer available to me. I tried using the "new" digitized version of the attestation papers and could only find a portion of what I used to find. You have destroyed a perfectly good working site! I hope you are all happy about that!

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Hello, Library and Archives Canada's "Soldiers of the First World War" database at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx should be of help. Thank you.

  • John Edwards

    2014-05-01

    worse site ever, never did open up

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Thank you all for your feedback. We have shared your comments with Library and Archives Canada, and they are working on improving the Soldiers of the First World War "database" in the future. We would encourage you to share any comments that you have on the "dataset" for the Soldiers of the First World War (http://data.gc.ca/data/en/dataset/6a6e6a79-9e2a-48cc-99ec-163da26d15e9) here, and direct any specific questions or concerns that you have about the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx) to webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca.

  • mary lou

    2014-05-03

    get a high school student to fix this mess, at least they know how to work web sites

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Thank you all for your feedback. We have shared your comments with Library and Archives Canada, and they are working on improving the Soldiers of the First World War "database" in the future. We would encourage you to share any comments that you have on the "dataset" for the Soldiers of the First World War (http://data.gc.ca/data/en/dataset/6a6e6a79-9e2a-48cc-99ec-163da26d15e9) here, and direct any specific questions or concerns that you have about the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx) to webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca.

  • Ian Smythe

    2014-05-06

    The online search used to be so simple and user friendly. I can't even find out where to search for attestation papers now. Whoever vandalized this service should be fired!

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Hello, The Soldiers of the First World War database resides at Library and Archives Canada's web site: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx Thank you.

  • Douglas Wigginton

    2014-05-06

    Can't you people leave anything alone that works? I always could find information about my relatives who served in both world wars . But now I can't because some genius thinks they have a better idea, well they don't . they whoever they are have made a mess of a great working site that was easy to access. I have tried and tried to access the world war one records site but can't anymore . Thank's for screwing up the great previous site.Whoever you are.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Hello, The "database" * of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx (Library and Archives Canada's web site). * Not to be confused with the "dataset" for the Soldiers of the First World War Thank you and we hope that helps.

  • JA

    2014-05-06

    “REALLY “ What has happen to this database? Even if you had planed to make this database confusing , you couldn't have made it any harder to use. What a waste of my time.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Hello, The Soldiers of the First World War database resides at: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx, as part of Library and Archives Canada's web site. Thank you.

  • James Baker

    2014-05-16

    I've followed every link suggested and am nowhere. I know the files on my relatives are available, just a horribly, poorly designed site. The authors of this should be fired!!

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-16

    Hello, The following URL should link directly to Library and Archives Canada's The Soldiers of the First World War database: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx. You are welcome to direct any specific questions or concerns that you have about this database to Library and Archives Canada at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca. Thank you and we hope that helps.

  • karla kaphaem

    2014-05-22

    I opened a new window and copied the link that was given in a previous message: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx... It worked just fine! Found my Great Grandfather!

  • Lynne Willoughby

    2014-05-26

    Hi all. Although I know about this subject I keep ending up on this page rather than the database for the Soldiers of the First World War. Perhaps this should be under notes to users rather than where it is. Perhaps that might help eliminate all the negative comments. This should be some sort of priority for LAC given all the hard work that is going on at the moment to digitize all these files to commemorate the anniversary of WW1.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-05-27

    The following response has been posted on behalf of Library and Archives Canada : "Hello Lynne, LAC will shortly be removing the links to the CEF dataset from our Web pages. It is our hope that this will prevent clients from inadvertently ending-up at the data.gc.ca site and end the frustration that this causes. Thank you very much for your comments". Thank you.

  • Johanne Truchon

    2014-05-30

    Hi, Your bac-lac ..... link does not work at all, I always get a message THIS PAGE CANNOT BE DISPLAYED. Is there a problem? Thanks

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-09-04

    Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately we were unable to duplicate this error. Could you inform us which link you are referring to? [All of the above bac-lac links to their Soldiers of the First World War database (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx) seem functional from the data.gc.ca office.] Thank you, Data.gc.ca

  • Wayne Colton

    2014-07-17

    Why do people fix things that aren't broken. This site is the absolute worst ever

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-09-04

    Hello, The "database" * of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx (Library and Archives Canada's web site). * Not to be confused with the "dataset" for the Soldiers of the First World War Thank you and we hope that helps.

  • Jane Cooper

    2014-08-04

    I would like to add my name to the list of people here. The old interface was not broken. Why did you 'fix' it? It was much easier to use, and much faster to find where to look for soldiers. Can we have it back please??

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-08-05

    Thank you for your feedback. We have forwarded your comment to the dataset provider for their response.

  • lmnagata

    2014-08-06

    Totally agree that this is a mess compared to previous availability.

  • Dorothy

    2014-08-06

    Quite right everybody. I can't find the stuff that used to be so simple to find here either. LAC has done this before - take away stuff that works and is findable in the name of making things better. And unless we scream really loud the bright lights running the show at LAC will just keep on giving mediocre service. But this is just so typical of how Library and Archives Canada has been managed for the last number of years.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-09-04

    Thank you for your feedback. We have forwarded your comments to LAC for their response. PS: If the following can be of help: The "database" * of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx (Library and Archives Canada's web site). * Not to be confused with the "dataset" for the Soldiers of the First World War

  • Sue

    2014-08-27

    Thanks for the link, omit the end elipsis next time though please! I can find my grandfather's atestation papers, which I have from a commercial site, and so I assume that his file has not yet been digitised, and I will need to check in now and then for the whole file. Regards, Sue in NZ

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-08-28

    Thank you for your feedback. And feel free to direct any specific questions or concerns that you have about the of the Soldiers of the First World War database to Library and Archives Canada at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca.

  • Dorothy

    2014-09-03

    I have tried the link you are giving to everybody trying to get information on WW1 soldier military records. It does not work. I agree with everyone else this is a real mess. I copied and pasted the link which you had provided and got a message that it did not exist. Is there not a simple method of accessing these files. Please send me some new info on how to get access to these files - the message you are giving is not working for the public trying to obtain information.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-09-04

    Thank you for your feedback. We have made adjustments so that all mentions of that link now refer directly to Library and Archives Canada (LAC)'s The Soldiers of the First World War database (i.e. http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx). We have also forwarded your comments to LAC for their response. You are welcome to direct any specific questions or concerns that you have about this database to LAC at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca. N.B.: The "database" * of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at LAC's web site. * Not to be confused with the "dataset" for the Soldiers of the First World War, residing here at the data.gc.ca web site.

  • Sylvia Garon

    2014-11-07

    Yikes!!! What a mess, cannot find anything. The old site was easier to use and so much quicker. I have been going around and around and around, I am sure you get the picture!!!

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-11-12

    Hello, You are probably seeking the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War, i.e. rather than the “dataset” of the Soldiers of the First World War. The "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at Library and Archives Canada (LAC)’s website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at open.canada.ca. (The dataset drives the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, but it is not the actual database.) For comments on the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, please contact LAC directly at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca. We have forwarded your comment to LAC for their response.

  • Linda

    2014-11-07

    How do I find my Grandfathers regiment and regimental Number from the first world war

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-11-07

    To find service records for Canadian soldiers of the First World War, please visit the "database" page of Library and Archives Canada’s Soldiers of the First World War website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx.

  • Iain Brown

    2014-11-07

    In the past, the Library and Archives site was well designed and easy to use... Somebody made the error of modifying things and as usual, the people who designed the previous search sites who likely employed by the government were either retired away or, they were fired. So somebody hired a private firm to create this mess and some genius who obviously has no clue how to create a user friendly site was put in charge... This frustrates researchers and genealogist. Would somebody in the government please rectify this mistake.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-11-12

    You are probably seeking the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War, i.e. rather than the “dataset” of the Soldiers of the First World War. The "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at Library and Archives Canada (LAC)’s website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at open.canada.ca. (The dataset drives the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, but it is not the actual database.) For comments on the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, please contact LAC directly at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca. We have forwarded your comment to LAC for their response.

  • Dawn Goodridge

    2014-11-10

    Incredibly frustrated, like the others. At one time, I was able to see the page where my grandfather was mentioned at Vimy Ridge at this web-site http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc010/490448a.gif&id_nbr=195381 Now, it's a dead link and I cannot, simply cannot, find that Vimy Ridge page. If it wasn't broken, why have our tax dollars gone to this "revamp"?

  • Cindy

    2014-11-10

    This site is terrible!!! How much money went into creating this mouse trap? What a waste of time. What an awful web design! Please reinstate the old site.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-11-12

    Are you looking for the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War, i.e. rather than the “dataset” of the Soldiers of the First World War? The "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at Library and Archives Canada (LAC)’s website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at open.canada.ca. (The dataset drives the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, but it is not the actual database.) For comments on the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, please contact LAC directly at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca. We have forwarded the above two comments to LAC for their response.

  • chardon labrie

    2014-11-10

    i think this site needs a whole lot of work. it is very complicated and confusing. i still don't know how to find the information i want and i am no dummy.

  • John Bremner

    2014-11-10

    What genius set up this disaster? Must have been a job to make it so hard to find information! Worst site ever, FAIL!!!

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-11-12

    Are you looking for the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War, i.e. rather than the “dataset” of the Soldiers of the First World War? The "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at Library and Archives Canada (LAC)’s website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at open.canada.ca. (The dataset drives the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, but it is not the actual database.) For comments on the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, please contact LAC directly at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca. We have forwarded the above two comments to LAC for their response.

  • Sarah1234Canada

    2014-11-11

    This website is impossible to use. Wanting information on great-grandpa and great-great uncle but unable to find much. It should be much easier that this The dataset does not even work.

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-11-12

    Are you looking for the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War, i.e. rather than the “dataset” of the Soldiers of the First World War? The "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at Library and Archives Canada (LAC)’s website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at open.canada.ca. (The dataset drives the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, but it is not the actual database.) For comments on the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, please contact LAC directly at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca. We have forwarded your comment to LAC for their response. And thank you for letting us know that the dataset for the Soldiers of the First World War is currently not functioning. We have informed the dataset provider.

  • Vera Marchant

    2014-11-11

    Find it impossible to navigate the Archive changes .. the old system was clear and easy to access. I did find a record of my father's enlistment, but where have the alphabetical list of photos gone??

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-11-12

    Are you looking for the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War, i.e. rather than the “dataset” of the Soldiers of the First World War? If so, the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at Library and Archives Canada (LAC)’s website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx might be of help. In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at open.canada.ca. (The dataset drives the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, but it is not the actual database.) For comments on the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, please contact LAC directly at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca. We have forwarded your comment to LAC for their response.

  • Jackson osborne

    2014-11-12

    Looking for my late grandpa picture n wer is he buried I don't know what he looks like n never seen him before I am his great great grandson I love to see his picture n been looking for him all these years

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-11-13

    You are probably looking for the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War, i.e. rather than the “dataset” of the Soldiers of the First World War. The "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at Library and Archives Canada (LAC)’s website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at open.canada.ca. (The dataset drives the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, but it is not the actual database.) For comments on the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, please contact LAC directly at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca. We have forwarded your comment to LAC for their response.

  • Lyall Baskin

    2014-11-13

    I'm sorry to say that your site is useless .

  • data-donnees.gc.ca

    2014-11-13

    Are you looking for the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War, i.e. rather than the “dataset” of the Soldiers of the First World War? If so, the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at Library and Archives Canada (LAC)’s website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx might be of help. In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at open.canada.ca. (The dataset drives the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, but it is not the actual database.) For comments on the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, please contact LAC directly at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca. We have forwarded your comment to LAC for their response.