Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

Medals, Honours and Awards

Search Help

About the Records

Library and Archives Canada holds medal registers, citation cards and records of various military awards. The records indicate the medal, honour or award to which an individual was entitled. This research tool provides the relevant archival references for those documents. Many of the medal registers are very fragile, oversize ledgers. Some of the registers available on microfilm have been digitized.

There are no service files for the Canadian military in the 1800s, so these records often provide the only proof of service for 19th century conflicts.

Note that many medals were awarded to recognize active service rather than for an act of bravery. For example, all those who served in the North West Rebellion, 1885, were entitled to the North West Canada Medal.

The names of the recipients of the Queen's South African Medal are indexed in our South African War database; the registers have been digitized.

The Citation Cards cover the years 1900 to 1969, but most relate to the First World War (1914-1918) and the Second World War (1939-1945). That collection consists of 75 boxes of 5 x 7 inch cards. Most references relate to a single card, a few of which also have notations on the back side. In some cases, the database contains multiple references for the same individual; those references might appear on one or more cards.

Only some cards contain details about the reason why the honour or the award was granted. In many cases, the commanding officer who made the recommendation did not submit details, so the reasons are not known. The cards have not been digitized.

With a few rare exceptions, the Citation Cards relate only to the Canadian Army. For the Air Force and Navy, consult the links at the end of this page under Other Resources.

Database

The database consists of references to the following records:

  • War of 1812, Lower Canada, RG 9 IIA5, volume 1
  • War of 1812. Upper Canada, RG 8, C series, volume 1202, microfilm C-3519
  • War of 1812, Medals to Aboriginals, RG 10, volume 264, microfilm C-12650
  • Canada General Service Medal,1866-1870, Fenian Raids and Red River, RG 9 IIA5, volumes 2 to 10, microfilm C-1861 to C-1863
  • Egypt Medal, 1882-1889, MG 13, WO 100, volume 68, microfilm C-12585
  • North West Canada Medal, 1885, RG 9 IIA5, volume 11, microfilm C-1863
  • North West Canada Medal, 1885: North West Mounted Police Recipients, RG 9 IIA5, volume 12, microfilm C-1863
  • Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal, 1902-1950, RG 9 IIA5, volume 16
  • Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal,1913-1916, RG 9 IIA5, volumes 18 and 19
  • Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration; Victoria Decoration, 1902-1945, RG 9 IIA5, volume 20, microfilm C-6770
  • Citation Cards, 1900-1969, mostly Army; including First and Second World Wars, Accession 2004-01505-5

Search Screen

The search screen allows you to search by one or more of the following fields:

  • Surname
  • Given Name(s)
  • Regiment
  • Rank
  • Regimental or Service Number
  • Event/Time Period

Note that some entries include only an initial for the given names. Try searching by surname only. Names can also be spelled different ways. The entries reflect the spelling of names as they appear on the documents. You can try spelling variations of names or use the * wildcard character.

Also note that the Citation Cards cannot be searched by regiment. That information was originally not captured when the database was created.

When you have entered your search terms, click on "Submit". The number of hits found will be shown at the top of the results screen.

How to Interpret the Results

Your search will produce a results list, from which you can obtain more detailed descriptions.

The results list contains the following fields:

  • Name (Surname and Given Name(s))
  • Regimental or Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
  • Event/Time Period

You can export the results to a portable storage device or to your own computer.

Click on the underlined name of the individual of interest to you for a more detailed description. The detailed description contains the following fields:

  • Name
  • Rank
  • Regimental or Service Number
  • Regiment
  • Medal/Honour/Award
  • Event/Time Period
  • Volume
  • Page (if there is no page number, the records are usually arranged in alphabetical order in the volume)
  • Reference/Accession Number
  • Microfilm (if the records are available on microfilm, a reel number will be indicated)

Some of the medal registers were digitized. You can view the corresponding page by clicking on "View Image".

How to Obtain Copies

You can print the images or save them on your own computer.

Use the following link for other options such as borrowing microfilm or ordering copies:

How to Access Library and Archives Canada Records

Other Resources

The Veterans Affairs Canada Web site provides descriptions and illustrations of Orders, Decorations and Medals.
[www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/cmdp/mainmenu].

Canadian medals, honours and awards are issued by various government departments. Consult our Military Medals page for information and links. Note that Veterans Affairs Canada no longer issues replacement medals for the First World War or earlier. You might be able to purchase replicas or miniatures from a militaria dealer.

Consult our Military pages for information about other military records, such as pay lists, musters rolls and service files.

Air Force Honours and Awards
[http://airforce.ca/honours-awards/search-awards-database]

Awards to the Royal Canadian Navy
[www.rcnvr.com/]

Canadian Army Honours and Awards (1939-45)
[www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/gal/cao-aco/index-eng.asp]

Dutch Awards to Canadians for World War II
[http://onderscheidingen.nl/decorandi/wo2/cdn.html]

Canadian Victoria Cross Recipients
[www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/cmdp/mainmenu/group01/cdn_vc]

London Gazette
[www.london-gazette.co.uk/search]

WW1 Campaign Medals (British Forces)
[www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=10&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1]