If someone in Canada wanted to join in on World War 2 what was the process, requirements, and associated records for each step?

For example, did they have to do informal training first or do an oath first etc. ? What was the full process and associated records?

This would be for a non-officer who has no previous military experience. I'm interested in both voluntary and conscription paths although I think my ancestor did it voluntarily.

  • Since the question has been edited to be about WW2 only and not WW1, I'm deleting the comments which are about WW1.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 19:23
  • Where have you looked so far? Including your prior research may help focus this to a single question and prevent potential answerers retracing your steps.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 23:38
  • @PolyGeo I am totally new to this so I just did a quick Google search and didn't find anything helpful. I tried to look on the veteran affairs website but I don't know where to start. Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


There are several paths of research that come to mind:

  • 1939-1945 Canadian newspapers with enlistment advertisments and articles explaining the process to potential recruits

  • biographies, memoirs, and war diaries of Canadian soldiers

  • military history websites, such as the Canadian War Museum or Regimental sites

The Canadian War Museum has a section titled Democracy at War: Canadian Newspapers and the Second World War "A searchable archive of more than 144,000 newspaper articles and editorials documenting every aspect of the war."

Libraries and Archives Canada includes sample documents in their Service Files of the Second World War - War Dead, 1939-1947

A list of Canadian infantry regiments has links to pages with more detail

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