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Remembered Today:


Deciphering My Great Uncles War records C.E.F

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Hello all this is a first time post and I was hoping some one could help decipher the war record of my great uncle Thomas.  This is of some importance so i can pass along a more coherent understanding of his service to my own children.  My father and grandmother had talked to me many times about my Uncle Tommy  over my life growing up and his service during WWI. I remember distinctly how my grandma said how horrified her mother was when she found out that Thomas had signed up. And my father relating to me at the end of Thomas's life in the mid fifties (when my dad was still a boy) of his uncle coughing up chunks of his lungs from being gassed in WWI.   I tried for many years to get his service record from the Canadian archives but the response I kept getting back was they have a record of his service but his service file was unaccounted for, my grandmother passed in the late 1980's with out ever knowing the full story of his service (as Thomas never spoke of his service to any one) and all the post cards and letters I have from him during his time of service are rather mundane mostly taking about his time on leave doing touristy things and that he was fine and in good health, Uncle Tommy never had any children and never married.  I still pressed on for his records to no avail, my father passed in 2007 still with out knowing the full story. I have continued over the years trying to get copy of his records to no avail and had petty much given up hope, and that had been lost to history.  Then out of the blue i though just for one last time I would check the the Canadian Personnel Records of the First World War and low and behold after 30 plus years of requests and searches  and wishing there were for all the world to see. 




So any help in deciphering these records would be greatly appreciated. 


 Thanks Matthew


Edited by Matthewq4b

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Good morning Matthew, my pages here may help. They consist of a series of pages introducing a variety of aspects to research a soldier:


Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Part 2 in the series introduces you to the service record and its contents.


One method I use to decipher the files is to use a spreadsheet and enter the date of each event along with narrative text in two columns as I go through the file page by page. At the end, I can resort the notes by the date column to place them in chronological order. The result can then be copied out to a text document and cleaned up and details filled in from other sources.

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