The project

Menin Gate Canadians MMP1917 © Passchendaele Museum

The Sources

The project is based on two Canadian archives, the Commonwealth War Graves Registers and the Circumstances of Death Registers.

For every Canadian killed in the First World War, the Commonwealth War Graves Registers either give the location where the body was buried or state on which memorial he is commemorated.

The Circumstances of Death Registers give information about the circumstances in which a Canadian serviceman died. If available, the document records each man’s initial place of death or burial.

Since July 2020, member of staff Simon Augustyn and two volunteers have been working through the sources, in search of locations in the landscape. Based on those sources, we have been able to point to an initial burial place for more than 20% of the Canadians named on the Menin Gate. By means of our geoportal we now want to make their stories accessible and preserve them for the future.

Commonwealth Wargraves Register Tom Brotherton BAC LAC

For every Canadian killed in the First World War, the Commonwealth War Graves Registers either give the location where the body was buried or state on which memorial he is commemorated.

Commonwealth War Graves Registers
Circumstances of Death Register Tom Brotherton BAC LAC

The Circumstances of Death Registers give information about the circumstances in which a Canadian serviceman died. If available, the document records each man’s initial place of death or burial.

Circumstances of Death Registers
Ontgraving Resten Naar Tyne Cot CWGC
Post-war exhumation of fallen soldiers.
Dog tag© CWM 19960008 002
Processes to enable the identification of the dead left a good deal to be desired. At first the Canadians wore various informal identity discs, which were removed on their deaths. Those who later dug them up had great difficulty identifying the buried men. By 1916 identity discs were provided in pairs, one to be left with the body and the other delivered to the military authorities.
Who were the Canadian volunteers?

Discover the Canadian missing on the online portal.

The First World War left its mark on Flanders in many ways. Monuments, cemeteries and bunkers are scattered all over the landscape. The online portal seeks out the silent witnesses of the war in an attempt to give missing Canadians a place in the landscape. Want to know their stories?