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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Canada, War Graves Registers (Circumstances of Casualty), 1914-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: War Graves Registry: Circumstances of Death Records. Record Group 150, 1992–1993/314, Boxes 145–238. Library and Archives Canada. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

War Graves Ledger Books. RG 150, 1992-93/314, vols. 239–302. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

About Canada, War Graves Registers (Circumstances of Casualty), 1914-1948

This database contains death and burial information for Canadian military personnel who died during the First World War in France, Belgium or the United Kingdom. The database also includes information on those who died both during and after the war in Canada, if death was attributable to war service. These records also include information on enemy aliens interned in Canada, deaths at sea, deaths in the United States, and deaths in Siberia in 1918-1919. For the Second World War, there are records for Canadian military personnel who died in Canada between 1939 and 1945 and for those from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere who were in Canada for air training during the war.

Records can be browsed by province.

The Circumstances of Casualty registers can be divided as follows:

  • Soldiers and Nursing Sisters of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) who died during the First World War in France, Belgium and United Kingdom. These registers, often referred to as the “Brown Binders”, record all known information about the death and burial of an individual and, therefore, may include details about the circumstances of death. Initial burial location is recorded, but many bodies were exhumed and re-interred after the war in cemeteries established by the Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission). Approximately 20,000 members of the CEF, however, have no known grave and their names are inscribed on one of two monuments: the Vimy Memorial in France and the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. For those who died in the United Kingdom, the registers also indicate the name and location of the cemetery. Researchers should note that there are some missing records in this series: all surnames from Cozni to Crossley, the letter “D” to the surname Davy, and all names after Sims to the end of the alphabet. Some information on these casualties can be found in the Canada, CEF Commonwealth War Graves Registers, 1914-1919 collection.

  • Information on Canadian military personnel who died in Canada or in the United States during the war or after the war to about 1948, if death was attributable to war service, is recorded in a separate set of registers. The registers are organized by province, although Newfoundland and Labrador is not included since it was a separate Dominion at the time. There is a separate register for deaths in the United States.
  • Similar information was also recorded for members of the CEF and Royal Canadian Navy who died at sea, for enemy aliens who were interned in Canada during the war and for members of the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force who died in Russia in 1918-1919.
  • During the Second World War, Canada was home to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) and more than 130,000 men from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other Allied nations trained in Canada. There are Circumstances of Casualty registers for those died in training accidents or by natural causes. Similarly, information on members of the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy who died in Canada during the war can also be found in these digitized registers.

Ledger forms vary some, but they may include the following details:

  • name
  • rank
  • unit
  • service number
  • death date
  • place of death
  • circumstances or cause of death
  • cemetery/place of burial
  • location of cemetery
  • location of grave or burial (if known)
  • religious affiliation
  • name and address of next of kin (if known)

Later forms may list father, mother, widow, and date of birth.

It is important to note that each record contains two images (the front and back sides of the original register).

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