Heritage Canadiana War Diaries Updated

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by dryan67, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. 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:

  2. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Brilliant work.
    Thanks very much for the excel spreadsheet.

  3. 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
  4. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


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


  5. 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
  6. 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."
  7. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    A monumental achievement, already found some very interesting stuff.

    Do they have a list of "things to come"? :)
  8. JohnS

    JohnS Senior Member

    Great stuff! Thanks.
  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I was just in contact with Heritage and there should be more war diaries posted within the next month. I am not sure what they will be at this point but will probably include some fill-in reels.
    stolpi likes this.
  10. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I have found some mistakes in my spreadsheet as well as one mislabeled reel. I will post a corrected spreadsheet when I get back from vacation.
  11. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Nice work!
  12. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is an updated spreadsheet with a few corrections. There is one reel that is incorrectly labeled. I have left it as described as the LAC, but the reel at Heritage is different and may be of interest to some members.

    Reel T-10893 is listed in the spreadsheet and at the LAC as:

    Volume 13875 - Headquarters, Defended Port of Saint John, New Brunswick 1942/12-1944/09
    Volume 13876 - Headquarters, Defended Port of St. John’s, Newfoundland 1941/09-1945/07
    Volume 13877 - Headquarters, Defended Port of Shelburne, Nova Scotia 1941/09-1944/07

    In reality, the Heritage Canadiana website has the following Volumes instead (which as Reel T-11066 at the LAC)

    Volume 14070 - Headquarters, 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade 1941/02-1941/08
    Volume 14071 - Headquarters, 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade 1941/09-1941/10

    Corrected Spreadsheet:

    Attached Files:

    stolpi likes this.
  13. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The Heritage Canadiana website added 69 more reels to Canadian War Diaries on September 9th. I have attached an updated spreadsheet for those interested. The black reel numbers are the original, the red are the reels added during the last update, and the blue are the reels added during the current update.

    As noted above two reels as shown as the LAC website have been swapped at the Heritage Canadiana site. In the spreadsheet I have indicated what is listed at the Heritage site rather than at the LAC site.

    Update Spreadsheet:

    Attached Files:

    Buteman and stolpi like this.
  14. JohnS

    JohnS Senior Member

    Thank you!
    I wish that they had them online ten years ago. It would have saved me a lot of printing charges and a few trips to Ottawa.
  15. Arthur001

    Arthur001 Member

    Heritiage Canada War Diaries Infantry Regiments

    I do notice that (unless I'm missing something quite badly here-haha) that War Diaries of individual infantry regiments are not online. (I need more than the June-August Wilfred Laurier war Diaries-I need the Part 1 orders after the monthly War Diary.)

    I am about to go to LAC in Ottawa here in November. Going to spend some $$ on hotels, food and the LAC.

    What I am looking for is the Part 1 orders for June, July, August and a bit of September for all Infantry regiments in order to look at casualty data and reinforcements. Units involved would be 2nd, 3rd Canadian Infnatry Divisions, and the infantry regiments of the 4th Armoured Division.

    This info became available for Mid-September (reinforcements, non-battle casualties) onwards in the Heritage Canada Canadian First Army A & Q War Diaries. But June, July and August - I need more for this area.

    Is there a reason these are missing? Would they be posted any time soon? I am on a academic deadline, and have to make a decision to go.

    Arthur in London, ON.
  16. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Compliments of forum member Klambie, I am in contact with a researcher based in Ottawa. If you want his contact info, please send a PM.
  17. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member


    I replied to your PM about this matter. The LAC have not microfilmed the infantry war diaries, therefore Heritage Canadiana will probably not put these on line since they are only dealing with microfilm reels.

  18. Arthur001

    Arthur001 Member

    17th DYRCH and David, thank you very much for your help.

    David thank you for your great work of organizing the catalogue.

    I am going to request the LAC material today and it is best if I be the one looking through it as I know what I need. I will also use the time before I leave to go through the LMH online June-August War Diaries to see if I can get as much detail out of them as that can to save time when I am there.

    The non-battle casualties and reinforcement data is very tricky. It was not something prioritized in many war diaries, though it was significant info on how a regiment was weakened or strengthened. Often each regiment recorded (or didn't) it their own way, until in late September when the Canadian First Army A & Q HQ staff got proper regular returns per regiment. It is often ignored as a non-factor, and that is what my academic study is all about.

    The 2nd Canadian Corps A & Q is a complete bust due to it consolidating all returns to the Division, Corps troops totals and AGRA totals level. It is not divided per regiment, which is what I want. The 1st Canadian Corps A & Q for March-May 1945 is the complete opposite, which is great!! (And online)

  19. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Good luck, Arthur. Let us know how you made out in your trip. I have updated the Heritage Canadiana Spreadsheet by adding a second worksheet entitled War Diaries Not Posted. This is a list of reels, that hopefully, will be filled in as the War Diaries reels, now at 742 reels, is expanded. It will later help me when more diaries are posted. It will also give everyone an idea of what is left to post in the HQ, armor, artillery and engineer areas.


    Attached Files:

  20. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron


    Good luck in your research.

    Many thanks for recapping the spreadsheet.

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