Library and Archives Canada have announced that more than 43,000 records on fallen Canadian forces have become newly available online.

These digitised records from the Second World War (1939-45) showcase some of the fallen Canadian forces which may have never been seen before. As a result, it has become significantly easier for Canadians to find and access the records of family members who died while serving their country.

The digitised records are the service files from various members who either died during or soon after World War Two. The records will include a combination of Canadian Forces members who were killed in action, those who died while in service, and those who died from service-related injuries in 1946–47.

Roughly 1.1 million Canadians served in the Canadian ArmyRoyal Canadian NavyRoyal Canadian Air Force, and in forces across the empire, with approximately 42,000 killed and another 55,000 wounded. These records will likely help account for those previously unaccounted for.

These service files can be found through Collection Search. Library and Archives Canada has improved access by:

  • Increasing the number of digitized files from 1,629 to more than 43,000
  • Creating a new embedded search form to focus your search on these records
  • Making it possible to search first and last names separately
  • Improving search wildcards to make it easier to check various spelling options
  • Adding tips to the page so you can access help without visiting another page
  • Allowing users to download a service file in a single bundle rather than page by page

This initiative is part of Library and Archives Canada’s efforts to improve online experience. Feedback on this tool is welcomed by the organisations and is recognised as a useful tool in the process for continuous improvement.

Users are encouraged to bookmark the new search page because the outdated Second World War Dead 1939–47 database will be closed in the coming weeks.

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