Understand the Abbreviations Commonly Found in Military Service Files

In previous posts, we’ve explained how to order Military Service files and we’ve even outlined what type of documents you are likely to find in them; but what happens once you begin reading a Military Service file and see abbreviations? You may recognize some abbreviations, such as “YMCA” (Young Men’s Christian Association), but others, such as “11thIFofC” or “YISMHRCAMC”, may prove to be somewhat puzzling.

Help Is at Hand

Understanding these abbreviations can be difficult, especially if you are unfamiliar with Canadian military history. For this reason, the Genealogy Services have transcribed over 6,000 abbreviations commonly found in these records and have added them to a list of abbreviations used in military service files. Using this list, you can search for the abbreviations in alphabetical order.

Understanding that “11thIFofC” stands for “11th Regiment (Irish Fusiliers of Canada)” or that “YISMHRCAMC” means “York Island Station Military Hospital Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps” will help you decipher the soldier’s life and provide you with a much better understanding of ranks, jobs, regiments and much more.

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

5 thoughts on “Understand the Abbreviations Commonly Found in Military Service Files

  1. I have ordered and received the second world war military records for my father. They only show his service in Canada and Newfoundland, were can I obtain the records for his service in Europe?

    • Thank you for your question. If the soldier in question served in Europe, the file should contain this information. Having said this, your question has been forwarded to the Personnel Record Unit (PRU) for review and someone will be contacting you to provide you with more information.

  2. Pingback: From Enlistment to Burial Records: The Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War | Library and Archives Canada Blog

  3. I have seen my great grandpas papers for World War One. On his years of active service it has 3 yrs, 90th w.w.r. I can not find this any where. I have searched what it could me in Europe and still can not find it. He joined WW1 when he was 19 years of age. They came to Canada from England a few years before WW1. I have no idea what unit he was part of as I can not find the 90th w.w.r in any records, Canadian or British. I have even emailed different army corps in England and they can not tell me. HELP me please. I need to find this info so I can trace my family heritage.

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