This is a free database of Royal Canadian Navy service files from 1910-1941 and is useful for family history and genealogy research. The free records are provided by Library and Archives Canada.

“On May 4, 1910, the enactment of the Naval Service Act created the Department of the Naval Service and the establishment of a Canadian navy. The prefix “Royal” was added in 1911, creating the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). The Royal Canadian Navy replaced the Royal Navy for maritime security in Canadian waters. It acquired its first warships from Britain, the HMCS Rainbow and the HMCS Niobe. It also inherited the Royal Navy Dockyards in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Esquimalt, British Columbia. The Royal Naval College of Canada opened in Halifax in 1910. By the start of the First World War in 1914, 379 men had joined the Royal Canadian Navy. By the end of the war, over 9,500 had served. Some of the enlistees had previously served with the Royal Navy. The Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR) was established in May 1914. In 1923, it was replaced by the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR). The Reserves were manned by part-time citizen sailors. They were assigned to protect Canada’s coasts and to assist in the training of Naval Officers. In 1968, the navy was merged with the army and air force to form the Canadian Armed Forces. The maritime component was named Maritime Command. In 2011, the title Royal Canadian Navy was restored.”

“The Department of the Naval Service created a series of records from 1910 to 1941 relating to the service of naval personnel (RG 150 Accession 1992-93/170). The records were once referred to as “Navy Pay Ledger Sheets”; however, they rarely contain information about pay. These oversized sheets contain personal and service information on many of the officers, cadets and non-commissioned sailors who served in the Royal Canadian Navy, the Naval Reserve and the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve. The ledger sheets summarize each individual’s service, including the names of ships and shore bases. Each man is devoted a full page outlining his service history. Many of these individuals transferred between the Navy and the Naval Reserve, so they have two service numbers and two ledger sheets. These records are fairly complete for the period from 1910 to the end of the First World War. They do not include all those who served afterwards.”

“This research tool provides access to 16,788 references to many individuals who served in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Naval Reserve between 1910 and 1918. It also includes some records for those who enlisted between 1919 and 1941. It also includes a few references to the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve. The information was extracted from the Navy Service Ledger Sheets. It does not include all naval personnel. It is not known why there are no ledger sheets for some individuals.”

Searches can be made by surname, given name, or service number.


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