War Brides

The term “war bride” refers to foreign civilian women who married Canadian soldiers serving overseas during the First and Second World Wars. The majority of war brides were from Great Britain, with a smaller number originating from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy and Germany.

Some of the microfilm reels listed on this page have been digitized on our partner's website, Héritage. Enter the microfilm number in the search box, e.g. C-5219. If the reel is digitized, click on the reel title to see the images. You can browse through the page images; the contents are not searchable.

First World War

There is no official number for war brides who married Canadian soldiers during the First World War, but it is estimated that 54,000 relatives and dependants accompanied troops returning to Canada following demobilization.

Library and Archives Canada holds a variety of resources relating to Canadian war brides of the First World War, including documents regarding the transportation and care of soldiers' dependents en route to Canada, pay and separation allowance, passage fees for dependents, and procedural recommendations for soldiers returning to Canada with dependants. The following list provides the main resources identified to date.

Description File Number and Link Status
Assigned pay and separation allowance, NCOs and men discharged to Canada – dependents in British Isles, 1917-18 RG24-C-1-a, vol. 998, file HQ 54-21-23-89 Open
Care of Canadian soldiers, dependents and  their return to Canada – work of Canadian Emigration Branch, c. 1919 RG24-C-6-e, vol. 1848, file GAQ 12-3 Open
Imperial Veterans in Canada, 1920-1937 RG76-I-A-I, vol. 644, file 993629, microfilms C-10583 and C-10584 (includes lists of names) Open
Procedure re: dealing with soldiers returning to Canada with their dependents, 1919 RG24-C-1-a, vol. 768, file HQ 54-21-6-152 Open
Policy re Refunding passage money to soldiers' dependents, 1919-1934 RG76-I-A-1, vol. 624 (part 1=1919) (part 2=1919-1925), file 949846, microfilm C-10441 Open
Applications for refunds of passage money (for soldiers' dependents) RG76-I-A-1, vol. 624, file 9498461, microfilm C-10441 Open
Soldiers' dependents leaving Canada and returning to Canada (1919-1934) RG76-I-A-1, volumes 614 (parts 15-17, part 18, part 19), and 615 (parts 20-22 and part 26), file 908571, microfilms C-10434 and C-10435 Open
Women and children leaving Canada to go to England (Soldiers' dependents) (lists) RG76-I-A-1, vol. 614, file 908571 part 3, microfilm C-10434 Open
Transportation of Soldiers' Wives and Families from Overseas to Canada, 1916-1938 RG24-C-1-a, volumes 744-747, file HQ 54-21-6-85, parts 1 to 11 Open
Naval and Military Emigration League, Settlement Scheme, 1919-1920 RG76-I-A-I, volume 585, file 821430, part 2, microfilm C-10658 Open
Repatriation of widows and wives of men in CEF RG24-C-1-a, volume 736, file HQ-54-21-6-50 Open

Further records may be found in the Immigration files of specific organizations (such as the Society for Overseas Settlement of British Women. For related records in the Manuscript Division, see among others: British government correspondence in MG 11 (Colonial Office), series 532 for the First World War and MG42, DO35 (Dominions Office) for the Second World War.

Use Archives Search to find other possible records. Try keywords such as soldiers' wives.

Second World War

The records for war brides of the Second World War, held by Library and Archives Canada, are more extensive due to the departments and programs established to handle the care and transport of soldiers' dependents.

By 1946, an estimated 48,000 marriages between Canadian servicemen and civilian women overseas had been registered. These marriages resulted in 22,000 children, and by the end of March 1948 the Canadian government had transported approximately 44,000 wives and 21,000 children to Canada.

Desciption File Number and Link Status
Admission to Canada of and transportation arrangements for fiancées of Canadian ex. Servicemen – Policy re., 1946-1948 RG25-G-2, vol. 3757, file 7447-B-40 Open
Army Public Relations - Publicity re War Brides and Dependents, 1946 RG24-C-1-a, vol. 174, file HQ-650-92-104 Open
Army Public Relations - Repatriation, 1945-1948 RG24-C-1-a, vol. 173, file HQ-650-92-92 Open
Arrival of CWAC from overseas.  Arrangements on Debarkation, 1943-1945 RG24-C-1, file 8536-7, microfilm C-5226 Open
Assistance to dependents re desertion, bigamy, illegitimacy, 1940-47 RG24-C-1-a, vol. 2050, file HQS-54-27-1-21 Open
Movement to Canada of Canadian servicemen's dependents – policy and instructions RG76, vol. 857, file 555-17 Restricted
Canadian women marrying Allied servicemen, Dependents of British Army personnel RG24-C-1-a, vol. 66 (Part 1), file 650-124-23 Open
Canadian women marrying Allied servicemen: Immigration Landing Letters – Emigration Permits, 1920-1957 RG76-I-A-1, vol. 624, file 919898, microfilm C-10441 Open
Demobilization - Committee on Repatriation of Canadian forces and dependents RG24-C-6-e, vol. 1846, file GAQ 11-42 Open
Demobilization Planning.  Repatriation of dependents, 1944-1945 RG24-C-1, file 8350-34, microfilm C-5194 Open
Transportation of Dependents within Canada, 1944-1945 RG24-C-1, file 8320-33, microfilm C-5194 Open
Dependents - Return to Canada via United States Ports, 1945 RG24-C-1, file 8536-1-6, microfilm C-5223 Open
Dependents of Canadian Army Personnel Returning from Overseas - Nominal Rolls, 1944-1947 RG24-C-1, file 8536-1-3, microfilms C-5220 to C-5222 Open
Return of Dependents of Canadian Army Personnel from Overseas - Passage Priority Commission Lists, 1944-1946  RG24-C11, file 8536-1-4, microfilm C-5223 Restricted
Fiancées of Army Personnel Coming to Canada from Overseas - Passage Priority Commission Lists, 1945-1946 RG24-C-1, file 8536-1-5, microfilm C-5223 Restricted
History - Directorate of Repatriation, 1945-1947  RG24-C-1, vol. 6545 (Part 1), file 650-124-33 Open
Immigration; admission of fiancées of citizens of Chinese origin; enlargement of quota for India, 1956 RG2, Series A5a, vol. 5775, microfilm T-12185
Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire: Introductory booklet for British immigrant women, circa 1945 MG28 I17, vol. 33, File 10 Open (exception: Vol. 141)
Instructional Personnel Returned to Canada for Duty at Training Centres, 1942-1945 RG24 C1, file HQS 8536-2, microfilm C-5225 Restricted
Irregularities - Canadian Wives Bureau, 1947-1948 RG24 C1, file HQS 8536-1-9, microfilm C-5223 Restricted
Joyce Hibbert Fonds (contains war bride correspondence and recollections) MG30 C170 Open; some restrictions
Peggy O'Hara Fonds (contains war bride correspondence, research material, and photographs) MG31 K20 Open; some restrictions
Policy, wives and families overseas to return to Canada, 1943-1945 RG24, vol. 2051 (part 1), file HQS 54-27-1-58 Open
Problem Cases - Dependents Awaiting Transportation from Overseas, 1946-1947 RG24-C-1, file 8536-1-8, microfilm C-5223 Restricted
Entry of Alien Fiancées (Fiancés) – Policy and Instruction, 1934-1946 RG76-I-A-1, Vol. 188, file 67967, pt. 2, microfilm C-7343 Open
Army - Repatriation - Dependents of Canadian Army Personnel in Canada - Social-Services Policy, 1945-1947 RG24-C-1-a, vol. 66, file HQS 650-124-2 Open
Repatriation of Members of Canadian Forces Discharged from British Army, 1943-1946 RG24-C-1, file 8536-5, microfilm C-5225 Restricted
Repatriation to Canada of Soldier's Dependents, 1940-1954 RG76-I-A-1, volumes 460 (pt.1-2), 460 (pt.3), 460 (pt.4), 461 (pt. 5), 461 (pt.6), 461 (pt.7-8), 462 (pt.9), 462 (pt.10-11), 462 (pt.12), file 705870 (pts. 1-12), microfilms C-10400 to C-10402 Open
Return of CWAC Officers from Overseas Posting, 1944-1945 RG24-C-1, file 8536-8, microfilm C-5226 Restricted
Return of CWAC Personnel from Attachment Overseas, 1943-1944 RG24-C-1, file HQS 8536-4, microfilm C-5225 Restricted
Return of Dependents of Canadian Servicemen, 1945 RG19, Volume 662, File 186-5-2 Restricted
Return of Ex-Servicemen to the United Kingdom, 1945-1947 RG24-C-1, file 8536-1-7, microfilm C-5223 Restricted
Return of families of Canadian Officers and Service Personnel to Canada, 1940-1951 RG24-C-1, file 8536-1, microfilms C-5218 to C-5220 Open
Return of Officers to Canada from UK, 1944-1947 RG24-C-1, file 8536-11, microfilm C-5227-5233 Open; some restrictions
Return of Other Ranks.  Rotation Leave for Overseas Troops, 1945 RG24-C-1, file 8536-12, microfilm C-5233 Open
Return of Personnel to Canada from Overseas - Welcome Home Arrangements - Generally, 1944-1946 RG24-C-1, file HQS 8536-9, microfilm C-5226 Restricted
Return of Units from Overseas, 1945-1946 RG24-C-1, file 8536-15, microfilm C-5233 and C-5234 Open; some restrictions
Return to Canada of GOC in C, First Canadian Army, 1945 RG24-C-1, file 8536-16, microfilm C-5234 Restricted
Returning Canadian Army Personnel, Shipping Arrangements, 1945?= RG24-C-1, file 8536-13, microfilm C-5233 Open
Servicemen's and Canadian Residents' Dependents and Fiancées—Admission to Canada of, 1940-1962 RG26-A-1-c, vol. 122, file 3-32-7 (parts 1-2) Open
Social Service - Repatriation - Social problems, General, 1944-45 RG24-C-1-a, vol. 66, file 650-125-15 Open
Transfer to Canada of Dependents of Members of the Armed Forces Serving Overseas - Canadian Red Cross Society, 1944-1946 RG24-C-1, file 8536-1-1, microfilm C-5220 Open
Transfer to Canada of Dependents of Members of the Armed Forces Serving Overseas - Voluntary Organizations other than the Canadian Red Cross Society, 1944-1945 RG24-C-1, file 8536-1-2, microfilm C-5220 Open
Transportation to the U.S. of fiancées of U.S. servicemen or fiancées of servicewomen from the U.K. and Europe, 1946 RG25-G-2, vol. 3825, file 8807-40 Open
Use of Quebec as a Port Disembarkation, Service Personnel, 1945 RG24-C-1, file 8536-17, microfilm C-5234 Restricted
War Brides—Widowed or Deserted—Mothers' Allowances—Family Allowances, 1945-1947 MG28-I10, vol. 58, file 489A Open; some access to be determined
Policy - Wives and Families Overseas Return to Canada, 1943-1945  RG24-C-1-a, vol. 2051, file 54-27-1-58 Open
Policy - Wives and Families Overseas Return to Canada, 1943-1945  RG24-C-1-a, vol. 2051, file 54-27-1-58 Open
Regulations to control travel of women and children entering or leaving Canada during wartime. 1940-1946 RG76-I-A-1, volumes 455 and 456, file 694686, microfilm C-10397 and C-10398 (includes lists of names) Open

Canadian Wives' Bureau

From 1944 to 1947, the Canadian Wives' Bureau oversaw the transportation of women and children to Canada and supported local war brides associations across England and Scotland. Library and Archives Canada's files on the Canadian Wives' Bureau cover the period from 1939 to 1947. Other Second World War records also address the transportation and repatriations of war brides and children of Canadian servicemen.

Subject Reference
Aberdeen, part 1 RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Aberdeen, part 2 RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Admin. CWB RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Ayr RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Birkenhead RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Birmingham RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Birth statistics, Canadian RG24 C2, vol. 12444
Blackpool RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Bognor Regis RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Bradford RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Brechin RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Brichton RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Bromley RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Canadian Wives' Bureau RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Cardiff RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Chichester RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Christmas Entertainments RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club /17 RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club Convention RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club Gen RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club Holland RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club Lecturers RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club /12 RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club /13 RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club /29 RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club /33 RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club /7 RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club /8 RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Club/Accommodation RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Clubs Organization?= RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Clubs Reports RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Club /11 RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Coupons, parts 1-3 RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Darlington RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Deps. Shipping RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Derby RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Destination/BC RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Destination/Ont. RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Dorking RG24 C2, vol. 10334
Dumbarton RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Dundee, parts 1 and 2 RG24 C2, vol. 10326
East Grinstead RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Eastbourne RG24 C2, vol. 10326
Edinburgh RG24 C2, vol. 10327
Enq/1, parts 1-4 RG24 C2, vol. 10327
Enq/1, parts 5 and 6 RG24 C2, vol. 10328
Enq/2, parts 1-3 RG24 C2, vol. 10328
Enq/3, part 1 RG24 C2, vol. 10328
Enq/3, parts 2-4 RG24 C2, vol. 10329
Enq/4, parts 1 and 2 RG24 C2, vol. 10329
Epson RG24 C2, vol. 10327
Expenses Generally RG24 C2, vol. 10327
Films RG24 C2, vol. 10329
Foreign Marr. RG24 C2, vol. 10329
General, parts 1 and 2 RG24 C2, vol. 10329
General, parts 3-5 RG24 C2, vol. 10330
Glasgow, parts 1 and 2 RG24 C2, vol. 10330
Glasgow/2 RG24 C2, vol. 10325
Goole RG24 C2, vol. 10330
Greenock RG24 C2, vol. 10330
Guildford RG24 C2, vol. 10330
Hastings RG24 C2, vol. 10330
Haywards Heath RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Horsham RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Hostels RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Hull RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Inverness RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Kilmarnock RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Lancaster RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Lee Gen. RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Leeds RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Lib RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Library, parts 1 and 2 RG24 C2, vol. 10331
Library, parts 3 and 4 RG24 C2, vol. 10332
Lincoln RG24 C2, vol. 10332
Littlehampton RG24 C2, vol. 10332
Liverpool RG24 C2, vol. 10332
London N. and NW. RG24 C2, vol. 10332
London S.W. RG24 C2, vol. 10332
London W. RG24 C2, vol. 10332
London West RG24 C2, vol. 10332
Luton RG24 C2, vol. 10332
Manchester, parts 1 and 2 RG24 C2, vol. 10332
Marriages, generally RG24 C2, vol. 12497
Middlesboro RG24 C2, vol. 10332
Motherwell RG24 C2, vol. 10332
Newcastle RG24 C2, vol. 10333
North Allerton RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Northampton RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Norwich RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Notthingham RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Oxford RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Paisley RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Pamphlet RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Perth RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Policy, parts 1-3 RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Press RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Preston RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Reading RG24 C2, vol. 10333
Reigate RG24 C2, vol. 10334
Remain UK, parts 1 and 2 RG24 C2, vol. 10334
Repat RG24 C2, vol. 10334
Returns RG24 C2, vol. 10334
RG24 RG24 C2, vol. 10324
Rotherham RG24 C2, vol. 10334
Sheffield RG24 C2, vol. 10334
Southampton RG24 C2, vol. 10334
Spare Cables and Teleps RG24 C2, vol. 10335
Spare Cables and Tell File RG24 C2, vol. 10334
Spare Cables and Tels. RG24 C2, vol. 10335
Stirling and Falkirk RG24 C2, vol. 10334
Swansea RG24 C2, vol. 10334
Trips RG24 C2, vol. 10335
Tunbridge Wells RG24 C2, vol. 10335
Watford RG24 C2, vol. 10335
Woking RG24 C2, vol. 10335
Worthing RG24 C2, vol. 10335
York and District RG24 C2, vol. 10335

Additional resources for the Canadian Wives' Bureau

Description File Number and Link Status
Organization and administration - Canadian wives bureau, 1944-1947 RG24-C-2, vol. 12546 Open
Canadian Wives Bureau fortnightly newsletter, 1946 RG24-C-2, vol. 12357, microfilm T-17960 Open
Canadian Wives Bureau London – Establishment and Activities of, 1945-1946 RG25-G-2, vol. 3625 (Part 1), file 2964-D-40 Restricted
Irregularities – Canadian Wives Bureau, 1947-1948 RG24-C-1, file 8536-1-9, microfilm C-5224 Restricted

Use Archives Search to find other possible records. Try keywords such as soldiers' wives.

Published Sources

External Links to Other Resources

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