Frequently Asked Questions
What is canadiansoldiers.com?
canadiansoldiers.com is a privately-funded source of information regarding the history and material culture of Canadian soldiers in the 20th Century, providing images and information for serious historical researchers, film-makers, re-enactors, modelers, gamers, and anyone interested in the Canadian Army between 1900 and 2000. Serious contributions to site content, such as information, photos, or anecdotes, are welcomed and will be fully credited. This site is proud to be a member of the small but growing community of those interested in this diverse and important subject area.
Who pays for it?
This site is run privately. There are no user fees and no government funding. Information on the webmaster, Michael Dorosh, is available here.
What's the best way to use the site?
The site is intended as a starting point for researchers, not an end-point. The goal is to present cited, reliable material, and suggestions for further reading from reliable printed works. Andrew Keen talks about the "Cult of the Amateur" in his 2007 book of that title, and discussed the leading online reference in the following terms:
Articles on Wikipedia related to Canadian military history have not been exceptions. "Fans" of the 12th SS Panzer Division, for example, have been keen on playing up the history of that formation at the expense of the historical record of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, resulting in what Wikipedians call "edit warring". Large gaps in coverage of historical subjects pertaining to the Canadian Army exist on Wikipedia, and because there are so many editors, style is inconsistent, and many "facts" are just plain wrong. A fraction of the pertinent articles there are of a professional standard, most are well-meaning, at worst they distort and misinform and at their absolute worst, they are simply fabricated. Hoaxes have been numerous, such as the 2009 hoax by Shane Fitzgerald who put a false quote attributed to French composer Maurice Jarre on the site following his death, which was then incorrectly attributed to him in the international press.2 The hoax only lasted 24 hours, but Wikipedia has a long - and growing - list of successful (i.e. long-lasting) hoaxes on its site. Another one that gained international attention was a 4000-word military history article, fabricated out of whole cloth, that remained in public view on the server, unchallenged, for five-and-a-half years, documenting in detail an entire war that never happened.3
Even the site's founder acknowledged the role of Wikipedia, and its relationship to military history long ago:
The role of canadiansoldiers.com is to provide a more solid foundation for consistent and accurate starting points for researchers and those looking for general information on various topics of interest.
How can I buy the books you list in the extended bibliography?
The webmaster regrets that he cannot enter into correspondence on this matter. The list is meant as a reference, not as a catalogue, and the webmaster is not a book dealer. Your best bet is to try Service Publications for quality books on Canadian military subjects, chapters.ca for general interest books currently in print, amazon.ca for international titles, or your local used book dealer for out-of-print titles.
Can I buy cap badges from the site?
The webmaster also regrets that the badges illustrated on this site are from private collections, or collected from on-line sources such as auctions, and are thus not for sale. This site is meant as a reference, not a commercial enterprise. There are good private auctions and militaria dealers who will be happy to help you out.
How can I contribute?
By emailing the webmaster, who is always on the lookout for quality images and information regarding Canadian soldiers of the 20th Century. Bear in mind several points, however;
How often does the site get updated?
While the webmaster recognizes and appreciates the enthusiasm that contributors feel for having their material added to the site in a timely manner, this is not always possible.
Where can I go to research a relative who served in the Canadian Army?
Geoff Winnington-Ball's page on researching veterans is a terrific start. In fact, his Maple Leaf Up site as a whole is an excellent reference on the Canadian Army in the Second World War. His page on researching veterans is at this link: http://mapleleafup.org/locator/research.html
Also, for Canadian servicemen killed on active duty, the Virtual War Memorial is a database featuring information on all Canadian war graves throughout the world. The database is searchable by name, and many entries have photo galleries, as well as grave locations, next of kin, and other information.
As noted above, Library and Archives Canada are the repository for personnel service files. There are genealogists in the Ottawa area who will research these documents, for a fee. LAC may have up to date information on how to contact them. The website for Library and Archives Canada is at: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/contact/index-e.html
The genealogy section of the LAC website is; http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/index-e.html and an expanded genealogy section of this website is at this page.
Can you link to my website?
canadiansoldiers.com does not have a links page, for several reasons:
While this site does not claim to be the first or last word on its subject matter, readers are urged to research on their own to find further information, to post enquiries at our forum (or related message boards, Facebook groups and other social media), and where relevant, to share links to further avenues of study.
The webmaster appreciates the efforts of all other webmasters who host sites - private or professional - that shed light on Canadian military history, and hopes that his views on this question are seen not as an indictment of these other sites but as a reflection of the realities of the Internet today, and the nomadic nature of its denizens - which makes any truly meaningful list of links impossible.