Jump to content
TheMadBaron

Researching Medals Awarded to Canadian Soldiers

Recommended Posts

Does anyone know if there is a way to verify which medals were awarded to individual Canadian soldiers of the conflict? I have a great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather who both served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and I know the latter had medals awarded as they're currently in the possession of a cousin who has fallen out of contact. Library and Personnel Records Canada has enlistment records publicly available, but I'm unable to find any database of medals awarded to individual soldiers. I can guess what they might have received based on dates and locations, but I want to be certain. I'm looking to purchase replacement medals from a dealer to have something to pass down. They won't be their medals, but they'll be their's in spirit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no database, per se. 

www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx

The Service Files at Library and Archives will have the Medal Cards for WWI, perhaps even online if your ancestors' files have been digitized for download.  That will tell you Star, War & Victory, and any gallantry medals awarded.

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/military-medals-1812-1969/Pages/military-medals-honours-awards.aspx

This database is for Long Service, both Colonial and Efficiency, as well as Gallantry and Pre-WWI service medals.

Coronation and Jubilee, though, would be much trickier.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I emailed Library and Archives Canada and received a quick response with a PDF of his entire war record. And this has added to the confusion. My great-great-grandfather's service officially began on 24 September 1915; he was shipped to England with the 71st Battalion of the CEF on April 1 1916 and arrived on April 11 in Liverpool, where he was transferred to the 51st Battalion of the CEF on June 16. He was discovered to have varicose veins and "neurasthenia", and was ruled to only be fit for garrison duty on November 8 1916. He departed for Canada on October 18 1917, was ruled medically unfit for further service and was discharged on November 15. Now, his discharge certificate describes his conduct as "very good", but on the heading of "Medals", it says "nil". He also signed a voluntary discharge paper where, again, someone has written "nil" under the "Medals" heading (this one dated January 15 1918). This has left me very confused. He was overseas with the CEF for a year and a half, so he should have at least received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. I've heard through family lore that a distant cousin has his medals, and have seen a photo to this effect, but the records I've accessed say he was awarded nothing. How is this possible? Could they have been awarded subsequent to these documents being filed? At war's end perhaps?

 

The reason I ask is that I had planned on purchasing a pair of replacement medals to be added to a framed photo I have of him, and was going to shell out the extra bit to get unnamed examples.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At most, he would have the British War Medal, as he was on garrison in the UK only, and not in a theater of war. Setting foot in France, for example, would have qualified him for the Victory.

Was this card or something similar included in the PDF? 

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/Pages/read-medal-card.aspx

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, he has a medal card and there is a “B” in the upper right corner, but with an “X” through it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "X"s are another form of a checkmark.  LAC uses George Bloome as an example card, and his medals were issued, even with an X through them.  Same with Major Charles Ingels, whose Long Service Medal I've got, and he was a DSO winner.  His B and V are crossed out.

image.png.5ed41f670d51373855b46fd28f408cc4.png

 

The Great War Forum suggests that the medals were not issued until after the war was over, and that includes 1919 in Siberia, so his discharge certificate would show that the medals weren't issued *yet*, and his Medal Index Card shows that the B was indeed entered, and issued.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that clears that up. Thank you for your help! Now to find a replacement medal...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just saw this post, but Nightbreak has answered the question: the medal entitlement is in the individual service records but no consolidated file is yet available on line.  Given the staff cuts at LAC, you were lucky to get his service record so promptly too.  Most of the medals seem to have been sent out in 1921-22, based on a sampling of 3-400 records I dealt with a couple of years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24/04/2019 at 08:12, peter monahan said:

I just saw this post, but Nightbreak has answered the question: the medal entitlement is in the individual service records but no consolidated file is yet available on line.  Given the staff cuts at LAC, you were lucky to get his service record so promptly too.  Most of the medals seem to have been sent out in 1921-22, based on a sampling of 3-400 records I dealt with a couple of years ago.

Indeed, the reverse of the card says that it was issued in March 1922. I picked up a replacement medal from eMedals with the original recipient's name ground out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Name erased' medals are out there, though not as common for the first war as for earlier periods, I would have thought.  I have picked up a few loose singles as place holders for groups myself.  Back when I had the $ to collect, I had a group of 6 to an Indian Viceroy's Commissioned Officer [senior warrant officer] collected in Indai for the silver, so that the two non-silver gongs had been tossed away. :(  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...