Service Documents

The King's Message to the RAF

After the First World War, J.C. Shackleton of Toronto, Ontario, received this certificate marking his service in the Royal Air Force (formerly the Royal Flying Corps).

Fighting the flu pandemic

During the influenza epidemic at the end of the First World War, many public health authorities deputized civilian volunteers to assist with emergency medical care. Agnes Shackleton, shown in the photograph, wore this armband and carried this identification card on her rounds in October 1918.

An African-American in the CEF

Thousands of Americans enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War - Harrison Webster was one of the few African-Americans. A native of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, he enlisted in #2 Construction Battalion in Saskatoon in October 1916.

Unfit for military service

This certificate indicated that Georges Burelle of Montreal had been placed in Category E by a medical examiner - indicating that he was permanently physically unfit for military service.

A munitions worker's exemption

This certificate affirmed that New Brunswick munitions worker Alvery Babineau was exempt from conscription, at least until men with a lower medical category were called up.

"In good standing under the Military Service Act"

This certificate was carried by Canadian men as proof that they had not evaded or avoided their obligations under the Military Service Act.

A marriage overseas

When a Canadian soldier married overseas, it was important that the paperwork be submitted to the proper authorities, to ensure that pay and allowances were credited to the right person.

Casualty identification tag

The tag, which would typically have been pinned to the tunic, indicated that Lieutenant Sams was being evacuated to England from 10 Canadian General Hospital with a slight leg wound.

War Emergency Training Classes Certificate: Machine Fitting

The Youth Training Act of 1939 enacted the War Emergency Training Program (1940-46) to provide technical training for individuals in the armed services and war industries.

Military Pass, 1917

Fleetwood Berry of Meaford, Ontario, was issued this pass to absent from his barracks in Toronto in 1917. Similar passes were issued to soldiers going on leave.

Permission to marry, 1939

Private Harold Drake, like all soldiers, was required to seek the permission of his Commanding Officer to marry, and had to provide supporting documents as well.