Military Medals, Honours and Awards, 1812–1969

The Records

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) holds medal registers, citation cards and the records of various military awards. As there are no service files for the Canadian military in the 1800s, those records often provide the only proof of service for 19th century conflicts. Many of the medals were awarded to recognize active service rather than acts 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 and the registers have been digitized.

Many of the medal registers are very fragile, oversized ledgers, some of which (such as those available on microfilm) have been digitized. A number of the medals registers have been indexed and included in this database (see below).

Library and Archives Canada also holds the following records that have not yet been indexed yet and are therefore not included in this database.

Type of Medal Reference Volume
Air Force Cross, Air Force Medal, and British Empire Medal, Commander of the British Empire, Commander of the Bath, Distinguished Flying Cross, General Service Medal, Imperial Service Order MG 29 E26 Volume 5917, file HQ51-15-1, microfilm C-15731
Canada General Service Medal MG 29 E26  
Canadian Coronation Contingent, 1902 RG 24 Volume 5917, file HQ51-15-1, microfilm C-15731
Canadian Coronation Contingent, 1911 RG 24 Volume 5927, file HQ 89-2-17
Canadian Coronation Contingent, 1937 RG 24 Volume 227-228 (see FA 24-63).
Centennial Medal - Veterans' Organizations (1967) RG 6 Volume 368
Centennial Medal Applications (1966-1968) RG 6 Volume 365
Good Conduct Medal, 1903-1944 RG 24 Volume 17
Honours and Awards and Special Commendations: Mentioned in Despatches (1943-1949) RG 24 Volume 2225
Korea Medal (1951-1955); Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (1932-1962); Royal Naval Reserve Decoration (1954-1957) RG 6 Volume 362
Medals to Newfoundland nurses (1916-1922) RG 38 Volumes 437, 438, 444
Meritorious Service Medal RG 24 D1,
RG 24 E1,
Volume 17 (RG24-D-1)
Queen's Commendation (1943-1967); Africa Star; Canadian Legion Meritorious Service Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal; Florence Nightingale Award. RG 6 Volume 361
Register of Honours and Awards - Air Force (1940-1946) RG 6 Volume 382
Register of Honours and Awards - Army (1940-1946) RG 6 Volume 381
Register of Honours and Awards - Civilian and Merchant Navy (1943-1946) RG 6 Volume 380
Register of Honours and Awards - Navy (1941-1946) RG 6 Volume 379

The Database

The current version of this database provides references to the names of individuals found in 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, microfilms 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; RG24 Volume 11, microfilm C-1863; Volume 5916
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 Accession 2004-01505-5 Volumes 1 to 75

The citation cards mostly 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 and some have notations on the back side. Only some cards explain the reason why the honour or the award was granted. 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.

Search Screen

The search screen enables you to search by:

  • Surname
  • Given name(s)
  • Regiment
  • Rank
  • Regimental or service number
  • Event/time period

Some entries only include 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, the citation cards cannot be searched by regiment because that information was not captured when the database was created.

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

How to Interpret the Results

Your search results will be posted as a results summary list from which you will be able to obtain an item description.

Search Results Page

The search results page displays the following fields:

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

Click on the underlined Item Number of a record to access the Item page, which contains additional information specific to that record.

Item Page

The item page may have a digitized image of the original medals registers available in PDF format and contains the following fields:

  • Given Name(s)
  • Surname
  • Rank
  • Regiment
  • Regimental or Service Number
  • Medal/Honour/Award
  • Date
  • Event/Time Period
  • Authority
  • Remarks
  • Volume
  • Page
  • Microfilm Reel Number
  • Reference
  • Item Number

To suggest a correction, click on the Suggest a Correction link to access an electronic form.

To return to the Search Results page, click on the Back button of your browser in the upper left corner of your screen.

How to Obtain Copies

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

Use the following link for other options such as ordering copies: How to Access LAC records.

Some of the content is protected by third party copyright and is subject to additional restrictions as to its reproduction and use. Please see Terms and Conditions to obtain additional information.

Other Resources

The Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Web site provides descriptions and illustrations of Orders, Decorations and Medals.

For information about medal entitlements and replacements, contact the appropriate office:

Second World War (1939-1945) and Korean Conflict (1951-1953):

Veterans Affairs Canada
Honours & Awards Section
Room 1711, 66 Slater Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0P4
Telephone: 1-613-995-5003 or 1-877-995-5003 (toll free in Canada and the US)
Fax: 1-613-947-3844

Note that Veterans Affairs Canada no longer issues replacement medals for the First World War. You might be able to purchase replicas or miniatures from a militaria dealer.

Merchant Marine:

Veterans Affairs Canada
Merchant Navy Registry
P.O. Box 7700
Charlottetown, PEI  C1A 8M9
Telephone: 1-888-289-8512
Fax: 1-902-368-0564

United Nations and Long Service Medals:

Directorate of Honours and Recognition
Building 347, Uplands Site
National Defence Headquarters
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0K2
Telephone: 1-877-741-8332

Canadian Volunteer Service Medal for Korea, 125th Anniversary Medal, Jubilee Medals, Civilian Bravery Awards, Protocols for Wearing Foreign Awards:

Government House Chancellery of Orders & Decorations
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A1
Telephone: 1-613-993-3538 or 1-800-465-6890 (toll free in Canada and the US)

British Forces:

Ministry of Defence Medal Office
Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
Building 250
RAF Innsworth
Gloucester, UK

Murmansk Run Medal:

Embassy of Russian Federation
285 Charlotte Street
Ottawa, ON  K1N 8L5
Telephone: 1-613-235-4341

All Canadian Veterans of the Persian Gulf War (2 August 1990 - 27 June 1991):

The Embassy of Kuwait has commenced the distribution of the Liberation of Kuwait medal. To determine if someone qualifies for the medal and to complete the application form, the client should visit and fax or email the application and proof of service to:

Embassy of Kuwait
333 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON  K1N 1J9
Fax: 613-780-9999

Other Websites

Use AVITUS to find other Web sites about military medals, including Victoria Cross winners.

Date modified: