Researching your Relative
We recommend that you first have a look at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). LAC holds an extensive collection of records of the Canadian men and women who have served their country. These include their service file which records each soldier’s employment and may include information such as the units with whom they served, which locations they served in, their training qualifications, medical issues and any honours and awards or disciplinary charges.
World War I service files are open records with no access restrictions, and are available electronically to anyone on the LAC database “Personnel Files from the First World War”.
World War II service files and later are not open records. Due to Canada’s privacy laws, only relatives can have access to the service files of soldiers who served after World War I. Third parties - such as this museum - cannot.
It’s important to note that some service files include a lot of information and others don’t. For example, if a soldier was never injured and was not recognized for extraordinary deeds, his or her service file will likely be thin.
Once you know when a soldier served in our regiment, you can contact us to see whether we have information on your relative.
To get a sense of where the Rifles were and what they were doing in the time period that your relative served, we recommend that you take a look at the our Battle Honours, which identifies the battles within which the Regiment served with distinction. Also, we recommend reading the official history of The Royal Winnipeg Rifles. You can purchase the book or you’re welcome to visit us at our archives where this book is available for reading along with many other helpful resources including the Rifles’ war diaries and Part II Orders which chronicle its day-to-day activities during World War I and II.
Other resources which may be of interest to you:
Locate where a Canadian soldier is buried or commemorated. The following are two very helpful sites:
Veterans Affairs Canada’s Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission can help you find the war dead and cemeteries of 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the First and Second World Wars among the 23,000 cemeteries, memorial and other locations worldwide where they are commemorated.
Check out the soldier's hometown newspaper; most have online archives.