Fact du Jour: Military Service Records
You can get more detail about your ancestors if you consult the service records in person.
My grandfather’s previous job as a baker, his relationship with women and the letters send to his family were all part of his service record, but I had to scan every page carefully for these fascination details. I still remember reading those words in the middle of a long form: “burned letters from girlfriends.”
Oh I wish they hadn’t done that.
That crucial form wasn’t part of the genealogy package my mom got before she died either. Nor was the form that talked about his job as a baker before the war or his leave without notice. Nor his will. Perhaps other family members wouldn’t want to know such things, but they are crucial hints to his impulsive character.
Researchers can consult the military service records of anyone who died while serving for the Canadian Armed Forces via Library and Archives Canada.
You can also consult the records of soldiers who died after they served, although you may have to provide staff with copies of obituaries.
The process is straightforward, but time-consuming. Request the records you need prior to visiting Library and Archives Canada, if you can.
I began my search at this site:
To find the records of Richard Charles Himphen, I selected the World War II Military Service Collection and typed his last name and first names into the box.
That gave me this screen:
This provides all the information you need to access the records.
Click on order records and you get this window:
I highly recommend that you go look at the entire record. My mom got the genealogy package of her father’s service record before she died. It didn’t contain nearly as much as his service record shows.
Hope your search is a worthwhile as mine was.
About the Author
Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.