Personnel records for nurses, 1914 to 1918
Many Canadians nurses served in the First World War, 1914 to 1918. Different types of records document their service. On this page you will learn what records there are and how to access them.
On this page
Before you start
Gather information such as:
- date of birth or approximate year of birth
- place of birth
- whether the person served in the Canadian or British army, or with a private organization
Places to look
1. Personnel records
Many nurses served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). Their service files are digitized in this database:
Personnel Records of the First World War
Note that nurses did not have regimental numbers. They served with the officer rank of Nursing Sister or Matron.
2. Other records
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) also has these records:
- Nominal Rolls - Nursing Sisters - Canadian Army Medical Corps, 1914-1915 (RG150, Series 7, volume 442)
- Medical Services - Nurses - Honours and Awards, 1916-1922 (RG38, volume 437, file M-9-11-16)
- Nurses and Probationers - overseas First World War - Royal Newfoundland Regiment, 1915-1934 (RG38, volume 439, file M-11)
- Civilian nurses employed during Spanish Influenza epidemic, 1918-1919 (RG24-C-8, volume 4271, file MD2-15-5-6)
- Nominal rolls - Nursing Sisters, Canadian Army Medical Corps and Queen Alexandra Imperial Nursing Sisters 1915-1917 (RG24, volumes 23187 and 23188)
- Nurses for Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Sisters, 1916-1938 (RG24, volume 109, file HQ-5883-27)
- List of Nursing Sisters on active service, 1st Contingent, 1914-1916 (RG24, volume 1272, file HQ-593-2-43)
- Nursing Sisters, pay lists, 1914-1917 (RG9-II-F-9, volumes 648, 718, 953, 1196, 1455, 1627)
- Nominal rolls, Nursing Sisters (no dates) (RG9-II-B-10, volumes 34 and 43)
- Nominal rolls, Nursing sisters at No. 4 General Hospital, No. 1 Canadian General Hospital, New Brunswick Military Hospital, and Nursing Sisters who were killed or died overseas (various dates) (RG9-II-B-10, volume 34)
- Nursing Sisters' Association of Canada fonds This fonds includes nominal rolls, awards, correspondence and reports relating to First World War nursing sisters (R9986-0-1, microfilm H-3125 to H-3131)
You can search for other records relating to nurses:
- Go to Collection Search.
- Select Advanced Search.
- In the Database field, select Collections and Fonds.
- In Any of these words, enter a keyword such as a name and/or the word “nurse” or “nursing sister”
Access the records
If you find a record of interest, there may be a digital image. Some of these are available through Collection Search. Others, particularly digitized microfilms, are available through Héritage.
Records that are not digitized
For records that are not digitized, you'll need to see them in person. If you can't visit us in person, you can order copies or hire a researcher.
Some of these fonds include digitized diaries and photographs:
Many Canadian nurses served with the British Forces. The National Archives in England holds those records.