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Canadian overseas Expeditionary Force

Canadian overseas Expeditionary Force

Posted: 8 Feb 2011 3:52AM GMT
Classification: Query
My granddad served in the Canadian overseas Expeditionary Force July 1918 to May 1919. I located his regimental # in The Library and Archives Canada/Soldiers of the First World War - CEF. Oddly, he was born in Colorado, U.S., however according to this records database; he was born in Calgary, Albeta, Canada. I double checked all the information in this record against family and birth information I have and with the exception of his place of birth, it is him.

I just can't find an explanation from any family member as to why he would have enlisted in WWI in the Canadian overseas Expeditionary Force when he was a U.S. Citizen.


Re: Canadian overseas Expeditionary Force

Posted: 8 Feb 2011 11:12PM GMT
Classification: Query
What was his name and what regiment was he in? Have you checked the 1916 census for western Canada to see where he was living at that time?

Re: Canadian overseas Expeditionary Force

Posted: 12 Feb 2011 2:47AM GMT
Classification: Query
Just wanted to pass along a website that you might find interesting:

I'm not sure from your message exactly where your relative signed up in Canada, but if it was in Calgary you might find this website interesting:

This site features letters that Ross Playfair of the 50th Battalion of the CEF wrote to his wife during WWI and it also features some of the battalion's war diaries.

Many of the soldiers of the 50th battalion either were from Calgary or they signed up in Calgary but even if your relative wasn't with this particular battalion, you might find this to be an informative website since it gives an interesting perspective on WWI and it is also a wonderful love story about Ross and his wife, although none of her letters to him survive.

Good luck in your search.

Re: Canadian overseas Expeditionary Force

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 6:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you for your reply. I have a couple of theories as to why he joined the CEF. He was too short, at only 5'2" tall, he didn't meet the minimum requirements to join the U.S. Army.

My favorite theory however, is that he had a felony record in the U.S., which wouldn't surprise me at all given his history, and went to Canada to hide and ended up enlisting. I have heard that he wouldn't not have had to prove his citizenship on paper, they took you for your word at that time.

Guess I'll just have to always wonder.
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