War Diaries through Heritage Canadiana

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by sapperschild, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. sapperschild

    sapperschild Junior Member

    For anyone looking for war diaries for Canadian Regiments, you may be interested to know that you can order them online through Library and Archives Canada, for digitizing on the Heritage Canadiana website. We have ordered reels for the 4th Field Company of Royal Canadian Engineers, Reels # T-18345 through T-18351 inclusive which have been recently posted. We have also ordered reels for the Canadian Grenadier Guards, Reels # T-12725 through T-12729 inclusive, of which two (T-12725 and T-12726) have recently been posted. Am hoping the remainder of the reels we ordered will be posted within a the next few weeks. The reels contain not only the day-to-day activities of the regiment(s) via the actual monthly war diaries, but Part 1 Orders and other documents, which refer to the names of soldiers - their transfers in and out of platoons, training, etc. We have managed to find a number of documents with our respective Dads' names, which has been incredibly exciting. Each reel contains on average, 1700 images, so it takes a while to work through them, but for people who are interested in the day-to-day activities of their relative's regiments, these are GOLD. Good luck.
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  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Thank you. That is very useful. I have toyed with the idea of obtaining Canadian War Diaries and War Establishments for units serving in 21 Army Group but so far taken the easier, and cheaper, route of staying with British units.

  3. sapperschild

    sapperschild Junior Member

    From what we understand, this is a recent initiative, with requests for the digitizing of LAC material going from few to very, very many in a short period of time. It appears to be in the early stages, but they have responded to our requests in a reasonable period of time - that is not to say that as their service becomes more widely known, they may not become backlogged, but it is still worth the effort. Once the diaries are posted, they are there for everyone to see. The smart way to go in my view.

    Have tried to copy and paste the link but have not been successful, so have typed it in as below;

  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    How much do they charge?

    There is a large amount of Canadian war diaries at the National Archives in London, many that I have copied only contain the war diary pages though and the appendices are missing.
  5. sapperschild

    sapperschild Junior Member

    No charge.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Can't grumble with that :D
    stolpi likes this.
  7. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    If you explore the site there are Aldo war diaries for British Corps and Divisions that served with the Camadians as well as 2nd Army and 21st Army Group diaries. At this point there are 96 microfilm reels of Canadian war diaries with each reel about 2000 files.
    gpo son likes this.
  8. Great find sapperschild! Thank you for sharing.


    Do you mean the LAC or the Heritage site? Could you give a link to an example?

    I attach an Excel file with the titles of each of the 96 reels as they appear. Can't vouch for their accuracy though. The first column (Reel ID) is clickable and will lead you to the individual reel. When several Diaries are on the same microfilm I've tried to put a direct link to the page where each starts.


    Attached Files:

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  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Attached Files:

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  10. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    Been lot of posts about these. I have been poughing through a few of the dics from the hq of the 1st and 2nd Canadian coprs; the info and after action reports are asrounding. today found reports of estimated divisional strengths of the 7th army after the closing of the Falaise gap shocking devastations of all german formations in the region. think it was disc t-1866 it will take many months to get through these disc contents congrats to whom ever is responsible and thanks as well. http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_133700?page=1
  11. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    oh no lol :P
    really its amazing whats in there, these files are not just military, but also hords of Canada's officail paper work dating back into the 1800's
  12. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    [SIZE=11pt]Many thanks dryan67[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=11pt]The link will be of great help to Bluebell Minor and myself with our post May 45 research, also many thanks to [/SIZE][SIZE=11pt]Diane for the excellent thread on War Diaries, a lot of hard work must have gone into this![/SIZE][SIZE=11pt][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=11pt]Best regards
  13. JohnS

    JohnS Senior Member

    I guess gone are the days straining my eyes trying to read the reels at my local library...this is good. Thanks for the post.
  14. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    John just looked at your site stormboatkings nice stuff thanks for putting it up
  15. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The Heritage Canadiana site has expanded the Canadian WWII war diary section from 173 microfilm reels to 673 reels. This is an immense quantity of war diaries that are available online here:


    In order to help locate specific war diaries, I have expanded my spreadsheet to categorize all the microfilm reels. Here is the spreadsheet. It also includes an index of the 73 reels of the Kardex war diaries and the 152 reels of the Directorate of Movement.

    Attached Files:

  16. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Brilliant work.
    Thanks very much for the excel spreadsheet.

  17. gaspirator

    gaspirator Member

    Thanks for the heads up and spreadsheet - amazing!

    I've just spent most of the day using your spreadsheet to chase files not kept at Kew. I've found one diary of which Kew do not have a copy and a couple of appendices that are only in the original files.

    Is there any schedule for uploads of these diaries? Do they upload material on request?

    - Pete
  18. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    Stupid question I know, but is it possible to download these diaries or only look 'live' on-line?


  19. gaspirator

    gaspirator Member

    You can download them Tom, but you need to save each image individually and give it a new filename (I use the image no within the reel for reference).

    It's laborious, but for me it's worth it as I already have the bulk of the diary pages from Kew - I just target the reports etc that were only filed in the original copies.

    - Pete
    djbamforduk likes this.
  20. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The posting schedule has been a bit haphazard. The Canadian War Diaries were posted in three increments with the last two being 173 reels and 673 reels. I believe the first posting was around 70 reels. It is best to check every few months.

    I have had some good responses from the Communications Officer, Daniel Velarde, on two occasions.

    He mentioned a method of expediting access to a reel. Here is his quote based on a reel that I was interested in:

    "f you want to fast-track access to C-5614 (relatively speaking), please completing the following request form with LAC: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/reproduction-requests/pages/reproduction-requests.aspx . When the request is approved, LAC will expedite the reel to us and it should appear online as fast as we can scan and process it."
    djbamforduk likes this.

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