How to Find Your Family’s Military Records

You don’t have to be a licensed private investigator to find the military records of your ancestors. If you’ve always wanted to learn more about their service during the Second World War, or the First, it’s never been easier to find their official government service records, at least if your relative served in a Canadian military uniform.

As many people tackle long-delayed projects during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, why not tackle “the box”, or find out more about the framed photo of a long-lost uncle or brother. Do you have a general interest in family history? Or are you a military history buff?

Here is what a military record looks like:

Attestation papers RCAF WWll
Attestation papers for my relative Flt. Sgt. Jack Brovender, of Timmins, Ontario, to join the RCAF. (Ellin Bessner photo.)

Watching this video will help you have a completer picture of how you can make sense of the precious photos and letters and old wartime personal effects of your relative.

Note: Canadian privacy rules allow anyone to request copies of the personnel files belonging to those who were killed in the Second World War.

If the veteran died more than twenty (20) years ago, it is also straightforward to get their files.

If your veteran is still alive, and agrees to sign the form, you can help them order their own records, too. If you would like more help, feel free to get in touch with me.

jewish rcaf pilot WWII
Flt. Sgt. Jack Brovender, killed Sept. 4, 1942 over England while on a night training exercise.

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