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 (199)

Please keep posting the link to the search feature! At least that gave me the tools to find what I needed.

Thank you for your comment. We appreciate it and are happy that the link to search the Soldiers of the First World War database helped you find what you were seeking. We have forwarded your feedback to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) for their possible response

I wanted to find a soldier's Service File so I went to the link at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/... This took me to a search page titled Search: Service Files of the First World War, 1914-1918 – CEF. According to the title, this should be the search page for service files; however, there are NO SERVICE FILES here. Someone has incorrectly connected the search engine on this page that should be for SERVICE FILES to ATTESTATION PAPERS instead. Library staff need not reply with comments about database and dataset because that is not going to help anything. Nothing is going to help until someone connects the search engine to the right data.

We have forwarded your feedback to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) for their response. For comments on the database of the Soldiers of the First World War, please contact LAC directly at webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca.

Just like many computer companies catering to the super genius techies

Are you are 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/.... In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at data.gc.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 two comments above to LAC for their response.

I am trying to download the data set as I want to do some research around the 1914 volunteers. Can I? Of course not. What I am getting is the following error message "This page contains the following errors: error on line 16 at column 58: EntityRef: expecting ';' Below is a rendering of the page up to the first error." and then it gives me a portion of a line of soldier name staring Aa The minister was criticized for saying that LAC and Stats Canada weren't going to do much for little old ladies (aka genealogists) in Kingston. It is increasingly apparent LAC doesn't give a hoot about any clients - whether genealogists or historians. All LAC management want to do is sign nice little deals with a US company who we all know - so that living breathing bodies will go away and stop asking for real service.

Dear DJ, We are sorry that our CEF dataset is causing you problems. We will gladly help you in any way possible. Please get in touch with our Reference Service at refer@bac-lac.gc.ca Thank you, Library and Archives Canada

Lots of great introductions explaining what can be found on this site, but just try finding it! I thought it was just me but it seems I'm not alone in being disappointed with this site. Can't even find the material that I found several months back. I hope action will be taken soon to fix the problem.

You might well be referring to Library and Archives Canada (LAC)’s website, seeking the "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War. The "database" of the Soldiers of the First World War resides at the LAC website at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/.... In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at data.gc.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 above to LAC for their response.

Like so many things in Government if it " WORKS FIX IT". This the first time in a long time I have been on the sight what a mess.

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/.... In contrast, the “dataset” for the Soldiers of the First World War is accessible from here at data.gc.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 two comments above to LAC for their response.

I'm going in circle. Very disapointed. Was easy a couple years ago. Bureaucrats ugh...............

I, like so many others, have spent endless time trying to get to grips with your site in the interests of obtaining the Personal Service File of CURRIE, James, 42800, 13th Bn Quebec Regiment who was Killed in the Field at St. Julien in the course of Second Battle of Ypres. I have today ordered his personal file but, and it is a big BUT I am left wondering whether I have to pay or not as even in this respect the site is confusing. One is given the impression that armed with the necessary personal details plus the appropriate Reference number and Box Number it is possible to view the details on-line. I finally decided that this was NOT the case and decided to request a digital copy and then found I was drawn into ordering also a textual copy. Undeterred I soldiered on (pardon the pun) and proceeded to order only to find that I was confronted with fields relating to Canadian provinces which required completion and, in turn, contrasted with the fields I was required to complete given that I am resident in the United Kingdom. To cut a long story short, I have today received confirmation of my order, but am no wiser as to whether I will have to pay for textural material which will come to me through the post for payment and/or whether the Personal Service File will be sent to me via e-mail and free of charge. There are serious difficulties with your site that need to be addressed without further delay. Meantime, I await the Personal Service File of Private James Currie, Service number: 42800. 13th Battalion Quebec Regiment. Killed in the Field St Julien 24th April, 1915. Kind regards Bob Currie

The following comment has been posted on behalf of the data owner : "Dear Mr. Currie, Thank you very much for your email regarding Library and Archives Canada’s online reproductions order form. Your comments have been forwarded to the Library and Archives Canada section responsible for the form. With regards to the status of your order, Library and Archives Canada staff will contact you by email (if they have not already done so). If you have further questions about Library and Archives Canada’s services, we invite you to contact us directly using the Ask Us a Question Form or one of the other methods listed on our Contact Us page: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/contact-us/Pages/contact-us.aspx . Thank you again for your comments. It is helpful to have feedback on our website and we appreciate you taking the time to put it in writing.”

Same problem as others - link leads me to a page saying error no page! Have a look at Australia's War records and archives. Much easier. I got my grandfathers complete 23 page enlistment online free with a name search. Hoping to find Canadian relatives War records but very difficult.

The URL should link directly to Library and Archives Canada (LAC)'s The Soldiers of the First World War database. If it can be of help, this URL has been divided between two lines just below. Try copying and pasting the first line into your browser's address field, then copy and paste the second line immediately following (i.e. no spaces) the first line in the browser's address field. www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/ first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx

When I right-click and download the XML version of the dataset, I am unable to open it as it says that the file is corrupt. When I just click on the link it gives the following error message: XML Parsing Error: not well-formed Location: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/900/f11/001042_20140606.xml Line Number 16, Column 58: http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item?id=200733a&op=img&app=cef -----------------------------------------------------------------------^ I have tried this from my home PC, a mac latop, an i mac, my university office computer, my university laptop, and even a public computer at the library. Clearly it is not working and I have spoken to several colleagues who all have the same issue at different institutions.

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

The link you are providing us with doesn't work http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx

So It's just not us Brits who fowl up a perfectly good website. Don't keep posting a link which gets us nowhere.

What is the difference between "The Dataset" and "The Database"? I agree with the thousands of preceding comments that the old version of this website was simple to use and yielded results, whereas this site is the exact opposite.

this web page is a total waste of time ,I am sure it could be made more simple

Couldn't agree more. This site is useless and a mess. Very unfortunate it had to be tampered with. Obviously a make work project.

Round and round and round we go, from dataset (whatever the heck that is) to database, to deadend links, and back to dataset (still don't know what it is). So dizzy I think I am going to puke. You should just give all you data to Wikpedia and give up.

What a waste of time and money. Like many others, I've tried the website link that you folks keep recommending but it tells me absolutely nothing. Whatever happened to keeping things simple i.e. typing in a person's name and regiment number to get the information one is looking for? I'm trying to find my uncle's military record from WW1 but this new system is like pulling teeth from a chicken. At the very least to avoid all this frustration, bring back the old system until you've worked the kinks out this fiasco.

If you read the comments you can see a common problem. Don't try to defend yourself, just fix the problem.

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

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.

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

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.

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??

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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"?

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.

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.

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

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.

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

This information is very helpful. When can we expect the next update? Thanks.

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.

Thank you for your comment Amira. Deportation statistics are kept by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). I recommend contacting CBSA directly. - IRCC