Updates: At this page you can enter your e-mail address
and the URL for any page on the matrix. As soon as there are
any changes made to that page, you will receive an e-mail advising
you of the change.
Chart: When you first entered the site, you were given the
option to go direct to the matrix or first visit the navigation
chart. Here we have provided a summary that details the
structure of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) as well as how
that has been assembled into the matrix. This chart is
intended for the first time visitor or the junior researcher who is
just starting to look for Great War Relatives, their history and how
they fit in to the overall Canadian operations.
Summary Tables: Thanks to Neil Burns and Peter Broznitsky, the
CEFSG has amalgamated the spreadsheets that summarize all the
infantry units. We have
now linked the summary table to the Library
and Archives War Diaries, as well as to the active discussion
pages on the CEFSG
Forum. We have now also upgraded the Summary Table so that
it includes the Army
Corps and the Army
Troops. Please note that this is, and always will be, a
"work in progress" as we are constantly upgrading,
enhancing and correcting the available information. Please contact
us if you find any errors or have additional information to add
to the summary tables or the Matrix.
- Nicholson Matrix:
We have now added all the key components of the famous Nicholson
text to the Matrix Utilities. A significant update was made in
the Fall of 2006 with the addition a complete transcription of the
text, in original format. You will also find here the links to
all the scanned maps, sketches, original Table of Contents and
the Appendices. We are in the process of finalizing all the Google
Overlays of the maps.
ORBAT Utility: The ORBAT (Order of Battle) comments have been
moved to their own page, so that we can update the list as
individual ORBATs become available. The Order of Battle is
defined as "a listing of all units involved directly, or
indirectly in a specific supporting role, in the conduct of a
specific battle during a specific period of time" (Michael
Thierens Post 2004). Work is now underway to create the
Fluid ORBAT to show the structure of the CEF in each Quarter Year
from 1914 to 1918. This will be the launching pad to then do
battle specific ORBATS. Sign up to participate in this very
Thanks to a note from Bill Smy, I was advised of the complete list
of regimental numbers of the Library and Archives ArchivaNet
site. Access to these meant that you had to download 47
individual pages, so we have alleviated that problem by preparing a
single PDF file that contains all 47 pages in one file. This
is a handy list to go along with the SUMMARY TABLE, particularly for
those units not yet listed, or to cross check which is on the table.
For the original listing of the Regimental Lists, please see the Library
and Archives Canada Regimental Number List.
Troopships: Thanks to Al
C we now have a significantly expanded list that shows the
ship, battalions on board, date and place of embarkation and date
and place of arrival. As this list is updated it will be
reposted to this spot on the Matrix. If you have additional
information, please e-mail it to Al C for inclusion in the
list. For further information, see the Forum posting (Absorbed
and Broken up Battalions -- Transport Ship.
Matrix Abbreviations have been taken back to the original version
without the amalgamation with the CEFSG list. On the same page
you will also find the PDF version of the Nicholson Abbreviations.
Site Links: Dwight Mercer has kindly provided a copy of
his "Recommended Great War Websites" which is available now for download in a searchable Adobe PDF document.
It is our plan to always have the most up-to-date list published
here. If you come across new sites, please feel free to submit
them to Dwight directly.
War Maps: Often your research will take you to places
you are not familiar with, particularly as so much of the topography
has changed over time. There is an excellent source of WWI
maps at the MAPS
USMA (History Department of the United States Military
Academy). If you are looking for specific information on
Canadian Forces, then you might prefer the NICHOLSON
All other sources are referenced on the map page of the utilities.
In December 2010 I also added a new section to this Utility to
explain how to read and interpret Trench
To enhance the
experience of looking at WWI battlefields with the available maps,
you might want to take a look at some of the options for getting an
aerial view of the surrounding area. On this page of the
Matrix you will find out what sites have been used by the CEFSG
members with great success. We are looking for more sources,
so please let us know if you find other sites. In December 2010 I
integrated the two sections (Maps & Aerial) into one Utility.
The links have been adjusted accordingly. To do direct to the aerial
information click here for Aerial Views
or here for Aerial
Instructions. Alternatively use the main link or the Great
War Maps to go to the new folder.
CEF Soldier's KIT:
Here we are starting to assemble information that shows and
describes what was in a conventional CEF kit. Our hope is to
have a wide variety of schematics and photos showing all the
components. If you have photos or additional information,
please submit them to the Matrix.
DIARY Links: Michael Thierens has been using Marc
Leroux's program to search the Library and Archives Canada web site
with a passion. Sites that no one would know exist, have now
been identified and made available through Michael's diligent
efforts. I can no longer keep up with Michael and post these
to the correct pages, as many of those pages do not yet exist.
So, on the WDL page you will find the links to all of Michael's
This is a compilation of the availability of unit histories, either
in the possession of a CEFSG member, in the form of an on-line
archive of the book, as part of a battalion's web site and most
recently in the new format being introduced by Library and Archives
Canada. Send an e-mail
if you are looking for a copy of a unit history, have one for sale
or trade, or have the text(s) and are willing to do "look
ups" for other members. If you know of other resources
other than those listed, please submit them for inclusion in this
Members have identified tributes in verse, some with music, some
with video, some just moving. We will do our best to make note
of those that are considered memorable and post them here for all to
read, list to or watch. If you have one that you would like to
have added to the list, please send the link to the Matrix.
Patches: Each of the units in the CEF had a shoulder patch
that distinguished them from all others in the field of
battle. Images of these patches have been recreated
electronically to distinguish each of the Matrix Pages (see image in
upper left corner of the Matrix page).
Following up on the initiative for the Patches, CEFSG member LLWill
has provided a collection of scans from his private collection which
we will integrate with the individual unit pages, along with those
provided by others. As this is such a great collection, with
excellent images, we have put the complete collection in a new
Matrix Utility. We encourage others to add to this
collection. As always, each member will be recognized for
Special Projects: Here you will find access to special projects that are being undertaken by the CEFSG that are not just Matrix Projects but rather projects that need a home for the end result. As such, they have a home here on the Matrix. You can click on the links in the header to go to the individual project.
For example, the first project was to provide links to all the unit
war diaries for the April 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge. Other
projects exist on the CEFSG Forum, such as Hill
Diary Transcriptions, Machine
Gun Corps and Canada's
Last Hundred Days.
Songs: The songs and lyrics of the various CEF units,
collected by members and submitted to the Matrix. If you have
found some that are not on this list, please post them or e-mail the
information to the Matrix.
Rolls: Thanks to the members, we have now started to
assemble a collection of Nominal Rolls for those that were assigned
to a specific unit. Details of the content of the rolls is
provided at the link. The roll is specific to a given time
period, as for example the men that signed with the 21st Infantry
Battalion in 1915 would be quite different than the men that were in
the same battalion at Armistice 1918 (that example is shown in the
works contributed to date).
Page: if you are working away from your computer, or
need to downsize your list of "favourites" then you
will appreciate this Matrix Utility. Here we have placed the
main references you will be using when you are researching soldiers
or units of the Great War. This is by no means a complete
list, just a start of the main links and something simple for new
users. The list can be updated as we go forward.
Fields: Thanks to Bob Richardson we now have a
listing of the men who were interviewed for the 1964 CBC Radio
Series "Flanders' Fields - Canadian Voices from
WWI". Visit this utility for details on the series and
the listing of all the men, so you can match names to what you hear.
Battalions: The work on the redesignated
and reorganized Infantry Battalions as noted on the main Matrix page
for the Reorganized
Units, requires regular checks on what unit went to what
reserve battalion, which unit trained who and where did the absorbed
units likely go in the end? To facilitate easier identification of
these units for those that do not have the main references, we are
providing a summary table based on the primary references, to which we can add any additions, corrections or
clarification. The contents of this utility began a
significant transformation in November 2008 with the addition of the
work of Mark Hopkins which details the individual reserve
Documents: This utility is provided as a quick means to
reach important legal documents (Acts, Regulations and Guidelines)
that are relevant to the Canadian Military in the Great War.
In terms of legal significance, development and passing of an
"Act" (Act of Parliament) is the parliamentary process
whereby the intent of the Government of Canada's legal process is
described in text. Following the promulgation of an Act of
Parliament there are normally a number of "Regulations"
prepared that give the force or power to the Act of
Parliament. Many Acts have been promulgated at one time or
another without any Regulations and thus they have little or no
power. Finally, a "Guideline" is a quasi-legal
document that sets out the intent of the regulatory body responsible
for an Act or Regulation for the implementation of the legal
Earth: A collection of KMZ files that can be used with
Google Earth that are related to the Great War. These have now been
moved to the MAPS UTILITY.
Records: This is a collection of service records of Canadian
Soldiers who served in the CEF, as well as a few that then also
served in the BEF. Members are also now adding "Service
Record Summaries" for those soldiers that are part of their
private research. If you wish to contribute to this utility,
please see the details to gain access to the site to upload your
of Honour: This utility corresponds to the information
contained in the CEFSG Forum for the "Rolls of Honour"
listings. Here a link is provided to the actual document that
contains the Roll of Service (survived the war) or Roll of Honour
(died in the war). Some of these rolls are published in full in
historic documents, others have been derived by CEFSG members or
other researchers. Documents that have been scanned by CEFSG members
may be located in the Archives.org
web site or saved to our shared MediaFire
An new utility of September 2011 by CEFSG member "avidgenie".
Like a number of other utilities, this information has been prepared
and will be updated by the member, so the Matrix job is simple, just
"cut & paste". These newspaper links focus on a number
of resources relating to family history, with an emphasis on those
that cover the Great War years.