If you have a name of an ancestor who may have fought at Vimy , you should start by searching Library and Archives Canada’s online database of Personnel Records of the First World War.
The Personnel Records of the First World War database includes the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service files.
So far (1-April-2017), nearly 417,000 out of 640,000 of these full files have been digitized, with more added every two weeks.
The service files are typically 25 to 75 pages long and include records on enlistment, training, medical and dental procedures, disciplinary actions, payments, medals, discharges and deaths.
In cases where the full service file isn’t yet uploaded, you may still be able see digitized enlistment records that contain birthplaces, next of kin, addresses, religions, trades and physical characteristics.
Start by typing in the surname and hitting search on this page. Click on the name in the search results. You will likely see an uploaded image of their enlistment document that you can click on that to enlarge it.
If you also see the words “Digitized service file – PDF format” followed by a number, click on the number and the entire scanned service file will open. These files are very large so it may require a fast internet connection to download, or take minutes to appear on your screen.
For example, you can see the first nine pages of John Lescinski’s service record (top of blog). In thus case there were forty (40) pages in the accompanying PDF.
It’s not always clear in the service files whether a person served in a particular battle, like at Vimy Ridge. However, that may be found in the online database of War Diaries of the First World War, which include daily accounts of what troops did in the field. These diaries contain very little personal information, but do show where units were deployed.
Take care. It only showed my first two pages with a link to download the PDF (which actually had 40 pages).
My link (John Lescinski):