are always an interesting thing to have for family members.
I started out trying to find out about Grandmother’s two brothers who both died in WWI and then went on to find out about other G-Uncles, cousins and distant relatives who joined the Military.
There are many different places to get Military records, but one of the first places that I found to get something about my family in Canada was at at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial
In Ottawa, there are books that list the people that died in the Service of Canada in WWI, WWII, the Korean War and peacekeeping missions. Each day, the different books are opened to the page that lists the people that passed away.
From this site, you can order a copy of the page that the person is listed on as well as find information that others have added to the page which is a wonderful page to have in your Genealogy Pages.
An example is my Great Uncle Charles Duncan Compton – his page is Virtual Memorial, from there you can click on the link that shows his page. I have ordered a copy and have it as part of my records. I was also able to have them update the page because when he joined, he listed his birthdate at 21 Dec 1897 on his Accession Papers but after getting his birth records, he was actually born on 21 Dec 1899 so he was only 16 years old when he signed up and he was dead 2 years later – so sad. And also, people have sent and there are added other papers, pictures, etc about the person. It was from here that I got to see what my G-Uncles looked like.
You can get copies of the Accession Papers from the Canadian Government for free, but if you want to know more, you can order copies of the Military Records for the person.
I ordered the records for one G-Uncle and learned more about him than a Great-Niece should know. Let’s just say the records have a much more detailed medical records than the Accession papers do. I also learned that he also lost his stripes at one point for serving beer to his troupes but I think if I was in the middle of a battle field, and we had a little break, I would have wanted a drink.
I find that Military records bring out more about the family than anything else. You have to wonder what was going through the head of a young man, who at the age of 16 would sign up, probably knowing he could die as well as an older G-Uncle signed up at the age of 35?
I have a strange, great sense of pride to know that I came from these people that risked their lives to make this world a better place.