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Remembered Today:

Canadian citizenship for British subjects

Guest eehardy

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My English grandfather was living in the USA when war broke out in 1914. He crossed into Canada and joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Ontario, in Nov 1914.

He served in France / Belgium from 1915 and returned to Britain in December 1917 to marry my grandmother.

All travel and marriage certificate documents declared him as Canadian. Later in 1927 he became an American citizen and again all the documents from the US authorities declare that he was a Canadian citizen.

Did service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, automatically confer Canadian citizenship on him?

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There was no "Canadian Citizenship" until an act of parliament was passed in 1947.


In simple terms he was a "British National" until he became a naturalised American citizen.

I do not believe for example that if a Russian born person volunteered (or was conscripted) for CEF service that "Canadian Citizenship (British Natonality) was automatically awarded. As in USA there was a naturalisation process.


Steve Y


I presume you are aware his attestation paper is available free online via Library Archives Canada and depending on his surname his full service file may also be available online.

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Steve is exactly right. There is some anecdotal evidence of non-British men being promised citizenship or naturalization if they joined up, but this never materialized.

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