27 August 2007

The CEF Paper Trail

Brett Payne, a stalwart member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) Study Group (www.cefresearch.com/phpBB2/index.php) and historian of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps, CEF, operates an extremely useful and interesting website called "The C.E.F. Paper Trail: An Unofficial Guide to the Official Canadian Army Service Records from The Great War" (freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~brett/cef/cefpapertrail.html#top).

To quote the site:
"The first phase of this project has involved the collating of examples of each type of document found in a soldier's World War 1 Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Records. Here you will find a preliminary selection, and I would like to encourage other researchers to contribute more. The guide designed partly to show prospective researchers what they can expect to find in a soldiers' service records, and partly to answer questions that I have had from fellow researchers wanting to know how they, too, can find out more of their particular soldier's military service."

The website includes detailed descriptions of the various types of documentation, as well as scans of actual paperwork. Types of documents covered include attestation records, discharge records, miscellaneous service records, medical records, pay records, and other commonly found documents (like passes and tickets). On the surface you might think this is not the most exciting content to read about. However, you'd be wrong, as an understanding of these records are absolutely necessary when trying to piece together an individual soldier's career during the First World War.

Brett welcomes "constructive comments, suggestions and contributions" to the site and can be e-mailed at bpayne@xtra.co.nz.

1 comment:

Brett Payne said...

Thanks for the plug, Kenn. I hadn't noticed this when you wrote it, and I might add that there has been a woeful lack of updates to the web page in the interim, due to my being busy an a few other projects. Perhaps in the New Year. Regards, Brett