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. This is a list that contains data about service files, not the actual service files themselves. To search for full service files by name or regimental number, visit Library and Archives Canada’s database. (​​http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx) 1995-06-20 2016-12-01 Library and Archives Canada open-ouvert@tbs-sct.gc.ca Militarymilitarywarsoldiercanadaexpeditionary forceceffirst world warwwi19141918 DatasetXML http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/900/f11/001042_20141124.xml Supporting DocumentationHTML http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/canadian-expeditionary-force.aspx Supporting DocumentationHTML http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/fra/decouvrez/patrimoine-militaire/premiere-guerre-mondiale/premiere-guerre-mondiale-1914-1918-cec/Pages/corps-expeditionnaires-canadien.aspx Data DictionaryXML http://data.gc.ca/commonwebsol/fileuploads/2/D/2/2D283451-5640-45FB-8F78-9D3AF936CB59/001042-txt-f.xml Data DictionaryXML http://data.gc.ca/commonwebsol/fileuploads/B/B/3/BB31EB47-4586-44BE-9D5D-C564C8CEF840/001042-txt-e.xml

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.

This is a list that contains data about service files, not the actual service files themselves. To search for full service files by name or regimental number, visit Library and Archives Canada’s database. (​​http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx)

Resources

Resource Name Resource Type Format Language Links
Dataset Dataset XML English
French
Access
Supporting Documentation Guide HTML English Access
Supporting Documentation Guide HTML French Access
Data Dictionary Guide XML French Access
Data Dictionary Guide XML English Access

Comments(194 )

Hi back again. First of all thank you for making it easier to get to a web site by adding the ability to just click on the rather long web addresses and being taken to that web site instead of having to one finger type to enter the LONG web address. Feel I should explain that I am an elderly senior. I am not computer literate but I am tenacious. I want to pass on my family's soldier's records to my family. Due to age my time is starting to run out. I took the advice that you found for me, tried the web address and once again it took me right back to where I always land! So once Easter is over I will use the phone numbers you have provided. I keep wondering if the folks who are working on the momin team ever try out the web addresses that are being recommended. If not and clients are being sent round and round in circles it serves to make those folks angry and mad at the team. It must hurt to get such critiques. Thank you for giving me phone numbers to phone. I will try phoning and if that results in success or not I will make an attempt to inform folks of what I found if that's what people would like.

Bernice, there may be no other service records available online. Best bet would be to call them directly as they would be able to best assist you. Please let us know if that worked, we always appreciate feedback from users! Thank you and sorry once again for the inconvenience. Momin, on behalf of the Open Government team.

Until I came upon this page that allows users to comment on what they found out while trying to find information on their relative's World War 1 records I felt I must be computer dense and the only one having this problem. No matter what I tried everything kept bringing me back to a page that recorded my relative's attestation papers. I had already been there many times and I was unable to get any further. Twice I one fingered typed the extremely long web address that you recommend to so many and back I came to that same page that I always end up on. I hope this doesn't get edited as the last email did but has anyone on the team tried the web site that you provide? If someone on the team has tried that web site did it take you to a soldier's CEF personal records? That's what I'm trying to find. If someone on your team was successful finding those personal records can you lead me step by step so that I can be successful? Sometimes I came upon pages with pages of paragraphs that list records held by LAC (I think) that had promising titles that encouraged me to click on that info only to find I couldn't follow what was being said. It just wasn't user friendly. If I was insensitive to the momin team in my last email I apologize but it's because I was so frustrated. That extremely long web address should probably be left out of advice as a way to help user such as me. Can you try out that web site and if you succeed could you tell others like me how you reached a soldier's CEF personal records and if you are not successful can you come up with something else that might work? Hope this comment won't get edited. Thanks, Bernice.

Our colleagues have returned with the following recommendation: To search for full service files by name or regimental number, visit Library and Archives Canada’s database: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/search.aspx If you are still having problems, please contact Library and Archives Canada directly: Telephone: 613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777 (toll-free in Canada and the United States) (Select 1 for English, Select 6 for Genealogy) I hope this helps. Momin, the Open Government team.

Bernice, I have contacted our colleagues at Library and Archives for direction on how to best find what you are looking for. I will post a response here as soon as I can. In the meantime, I would recommend you also contact them directly. Their contact information can be found here: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/contact-us/Pages/contact-us.aspx Thank you, Momin, from the Open Government team.

I'm having issues searching too

This web site just takes you round and round. A complete waste of my time.

Hi , we are sorry that you are not satisfied with our website. We are continuously trying to improve our portal and your feedback is important to us. If there is any information that you'd like help looking for, please let me know so I can assist you further. Thank you, Momin, the Open Government team.

Tomorrow Apr.9th, 2017 is the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge. After many attempts today and many other days and an extensive background in genealogy I have failed to win the battle of finding my gr. uncle's World War 1 personal records. Very discouraged trying to navigate this site.

Bernice, we are sorry that you are not satisfied with our website. We are continuously trying to improve our portal and your feedback is important to us. I would encourage you to try this: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx Also, please note that I have edited your comment to remove remarks that violate our rules of engagement. You can consult the following link for more information: http://open.canada.ca/en/rules-engagement Thank you, Momin, the Open Government team.

Unbelievable !!! Unable to find any information on this site or any of the links provided in the comments. The oldest comment listed is from 2014 so that is 3 years of complaints from the public, with no corrections to the site. Whom ever is making the responses to the comments of the people should be ashamed to post anything, because it is of no help and they are doing nothing to correct the problem.

Doug, I am sorry to hear that you are not satisfied with our site. We are continuously trying to improve our portal and your feedback is important to us. If there is any information that you'd like help looking for, please let me know so I can assist you better. Thank you, Momin, the Open Government team.

It took me forever to find the link to the WW1 attestation papers, and then I found the search didn't work. This site is terribly designed for the general public. And this comment above from 2014 gives the whole attitude of customer service and why this website is so horribly laid out: "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" Yeah right, everyone understands that for sure. I think the same folks designed this as designed the Phoenix software.

Hi Tim, we are sorry that you had findability issues with our website. We are continuously trying to improve our portal and your feedback is important to us. If there is any information that you'd like help looking for, please let me know so I can assist you further. Thank you, Momin, the Open Government team.

On a scale of 1 to 10 this site is a zero minus 10.After 3 hours of frustration I have finally given up.The average computer user could not possibly find anything in this totally useless data base . Please restore the original search base which was user friendly .And no I am not a robot

Hi Arnold, I am sorry to hear about your frustrations. Your feedback is appreciated as we strive to improve our open data portal. If there is something specific you are looking for, please let me know so I can better assist you. Thank you, Momin, Open Government team.

I too am frustrated at the inability to retrieve personnel files with all of the info requested being entered. I have amassed several online originals from separate sites but the personnel card is critical to my ability to retrace my Great Uncles journey through France and to his place of death. We need this to be simplified, please!

Hi, I am sorry to hear about your frustration. I would recommend you make a request directly to Library and Archives Canada on their Genealogy and Family History page at: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/assistance-request-form/Pages/assistance-request-form.aspx?requesttype=1 You can also browse the database at the following website: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/search.aspx Thank you and I hope this helps. Momin, the Open Government team.

What a wonderful site this used to be however it is now worthless.A pity no one ever was aware of if it works don't fix it.

I am very upset I spent 3 hours trying to find my great great grandfathers regiment and the 100 letters is not even working well I hope this gets fixed as I am a student and have a project to do that is due soon so I hope this issue is resolved soon as my teacher recommended this site. The ww1 section needs to have more information on it and my ancestors too.

Hello, Thank you for your comment and I am sorry to hear you are having difficulty finding information on your great great grandfather's regiment. You can make a request directly to Library and Archives Canada on their Genealogy and Family History page at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/assistance-request-form/Pages/assistance-request-form.aspx?requesttype=1 Thank you, Tasha, the Open Government Team

juste avoir les informations sur son dossier! je veux connaitre les renseignements sur mon grand père qui a participé à la 1ére guerre mondiale, mort suite à une maladie. et sa femme est vivante

Bonjour Kabre, Nous vous remercions pour votre commentaire, Vous pouvez formuler une demande directement à Bibliothèque et Archives Canada à partir de leur page Généalogie et histoire familiale qui se trouve à : http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/fra/formulaire-demande-aide/Pages/formulaire-demande-aide.aspx?requesttype=1 Équipe du gouvernement ouvert

How do we search WWII and or Korea

I have recently begun parsing the list and realized a few things: * The list seems to contain about 575 000 items, not 600 000+. Is this normal? * Why isn't there a common format for the dates? There are more than a dozen formats, including bogus data * The attributes for records are not grouped together under an XML node; they're all in the root node. * The file is encoded as UTF-16, needlessly doubling its size. I'm especially concerned about the dates. Is there a way to obtain valid dates in a normalized format? In any case, thank you for your precious work.

Nicolas, Thanks so much for these questions - the data holder has provided the following response: For answers to technical questions, please contact Library and Archives Canada directly, using this form: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/Pages/feedback.aspx?CurrentURL=/eng/contact-us/Pages/contact-us.aspx Pour obtenir des réponses aux questions techniques, veuillez communiquer directement avec Bibliothèque et Archives Canada à l'aide de ce formulaire : http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/fra/Pages/retroaction.aspx?CurrentURL=%2feng%2fcontact-us%2fPages%2fcontact-us.aspx Best wishes, Karin the open-ouvert team

What is wrong here? It used to be a simple thing, enter a WWI soldier's name or regimental number and search. What happened? Were millions of tax dollars spent to "improve" things? Keep it simple and make an easy to find searh page and put a link to it at the bottom of every page. Now I seem to be in endless loops finding none of the inform that was easy to find before.

Hi Vic, Thank you for your comment. In the meantime, you can make a request directly to Library and Archives Canada on their Genealogy and Family History page at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/assistance-request-form/Pages/assistance-request-form.aspx?requesttype=1 Tasha, the Open Government Team

After an hour, yes I spent this much time, and am still no further ahead in my search. Why the problem?

Brian, Did you try searching at this site? http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/... You might get better results using the database for searches. Please let us know, Thanks, The Open Government Team

I'd rate this a 5 if it was more up to date. I see the individual soldier records have a great deal more info on them now (rank etc.), and that info is not included in this dump. Otherwise, this is a great resource for people looking to *programmatically* work with the data.

bonjour je suis a la recherche d'un dossier dans les archives des anciens combattants algeriens de la premiere guerre mondiale 1939-1945 de monsieur bekhiche mohamed né en 1918 qui as participer dans la derniere guerre situé en haut sous les ordres de l'armé francais cette personne a perdu son livret de service militaire . dans l'attente d'une reponse de votre part , veuilez agreer Mr Mme mes sinceres salutations

According to this site, my Grandfather never existed or fought for Canada. He did on the old site. What a joke this site is. Shame!

Hi Mark, Did you try searching at this site? http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx You might get better results. Please let us know, Thanks, The Open Government Team

Regarding the link asking you to sign in: mind emailing us at open-ouvert@tbs-sct.gc.ca and copying the link? I checked a few and they took me to the service files search. Thank you.

When i use the link you continually give to people, it asks us to sign in.

Please note: this is not the searchable Soldiers of the First World War database - it is the raw data behind it. To use the database, please go to: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx. Apologies for any difficulties.

Like Megan at the top says, I'm going around and around in circles trying to get a Service Record of a WWI soldier. I cannot figure it out and see no clear way to get this information despite a paragraph saying most of this stuff is digitized and available online. Where?!

je veux connaitre les renseignements sur mon grand père qui a participé à la 1ére guerre mondiale, mort juste après la guerre suite à une maladie, d'après les dires de ses compagnons de l'époque, meme mon père ne sait pas ou il es enterré.

jl est mort on a perdu ses dociées

I found some information yesterday about an uncle of mine who served in both wars ,and was try again with out any luck. I woul have to rate your web site as a zero. Please fix it.

No idea why everyone is so down on this. It's a FABULOUS thing to be able to grab the entire dataset. Thank you LAC! If I could offer one bit of feedback though: This XML file is stored as a UTF-16 file and is aver 700MB in size. Saving it as a UTF-8 file literally halves the file size. I converted it to UTF-8 using this (on Linux): iconv -f utf-16 -t utf-8 001042_20141124.xml > 001042_20141124_UTF8.xml

Trust the Government to take what was good only to completely screw it up. I think that you are under pressure from the likes of "Ancestry' who wants to charge for information that should be free. My father did not endure the muddy trenches in France during the first war so you could charge to get any info about him about his service. I'll bet this note doesn't even show up on this site. I didn't know him very well ... he was 60 years old when I was born in 1941.

This is presently nearly unworkable because the links keep a person going in circles. The search box for a name should be much easier to find. Had to go to the comments letters to find it.

"If it ain't broke don't fix it". You took a perfectly good site and search engine and turned it into a monumental mess. It's so bad it's not even worth trying to use. Thanks so much for making needed and useful information unavailable. Our tax dollars wasted.

Where do I put in the name and find out if they are in the WW1 list? Can't find where to input. I don't remember it being this confusing when I used this site several years ago.

Tottally agree have used this in the past why would you not have someone who is not a chip head go through the steps before you change things you could have at least made it go to the webpage your suggesting by tapping on the link but you couldn't even make that simple process a possibility

Just wasted over an hour trying to access the database and going around in circles. Very disappointed.

I am trying to find out where my grandfather served after he joined the Canadian Army in World War 1. The information on the website is sending me around in circles. My grandfather was called Isaac Beal and he was born in Hamsterley, Count Durham, England 1878/9. Any information regarding his enlistment and service record would be helpful. I would be grateful if you could point me in the right direction.

What is completely unacceptable here is the disrespect to the commenters above. Responding with the same drone link statement to each complainant is unacceptable. Realize that these are the people who care and support LAC. Talk to them like humans.