Royal Canadian Navy Service Ledger Sheets, 1910 to 1941

T​his database includes personnel records of those who served in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Naval Reserve between 1910 and 1918. It also includes some people who enlisted between 1919 and 1941, and some who served in the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve.

Search the database

  • Go to Collection Search and click on "Advanced search"
  • In “All these words,” enter a last name with or without a first name
    • Try various spellings of the name or use the * wild card character (for example, Alex* for Alexander, Alexandre)
  • In “Database,” select "Royal Canadian Navy Service Ledger Sheets, 1910 to 1941"
  • Optional: In “Date,” enter a year of birth or range of years
  • Optional: In “Service number,” enter the number if you know it
  • Enter numbers only; do not include letters such as "ON" or "VR"
  • Click the "Search" button

Access the records

These records are not digitized. You have several options.

  • You may order a copy of the document
  • You may visit our Ottawa location to view the record in person
    • Pre-order the material before your visit, using the Material Retrieval form

Include these details from the database entry when completing the copy or retrieval form:

  • person’s name
  • name of the fonds: Navy service ledger sheets
  • reference number: RG 150 1992-93/170
  • volume number and service number

About the records

The Naval Services of Canada was established in 1910 and changed its name in 1911 to the Royal Canadian Navy. The Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR) was established in May 1914 and renamed the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) in 1923. The Reserves were part-time citizen sailors assigned to protect Canada's coasts and to help train naval officers.

This database includes over 16,000 personnel records on ledger sheets from 1910 to 1941. These records were once referred to as "Navy Pay Ledger Sheets," although they rarely have information about pay. These records are about officers, cadets and non-commissioned sailors who served in the Royal Canadian Navy, the Naval Reserve and the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve.

The records are fairly complete from 1910 to the end of the First World War. Only some of those who served between 1919 and 1941 are included. It is not known why there are no ledger sheets for some people.

Most of the ledger sheets contain the following details:

  • date and place of birth
  • occupation
  • physical description
  • name and address of next-of-kin
  • dates of service
  • ships and shore-based establishments where the person served
  • medal entitlements

Service numbers

Many people transferred between the Navy and the Naval Reserve, so they have two service numbers and two ledger sheets. The service number is also the Ledger Sheet number. Some service numbers start with letters, the most common being:

  • OFF (officer)
  • N or ON (regular service number)
  • VR (volunteer reserve)
  • x (outside Canada, such as the British Royal Navy or the Newfoundland Naval Reserve)

The ledger sheets are arranged numerically by service number:

Archival reference: Record Group 150, Accession 1992-93/170, volumes 1 to 27

  • volumes 1 to 12: N-1 to N-61999
  • volumes 13 to 26: VR-1 to VR-7500
  • volume 27: VR1-19 to OFF VR-100

Related Resources

Related resources at Library and Archives Canada

Archival records

First World War (1914–1918)

Library and Archives Canada holds other service files for the Royal Canadian Navy and for the Royal Naval Air Service during the First World War. These files are more administrative and financial than the ledger sheets, containing enrolment applications, discharge or demobilization forms, and separation allowances. These documents can be accessed this way:

  • Go to Collection Search and click on “Advanced search”
  • In “All these words,” enter the Finding Aid number (24-167) and a name
    • For example: 24-167 Conrad Hefferton or 24-167 Henri Simard
  • In “Database,” select “Collections and Fonds”
  • Click the "Search" button

These records are not digitized. Include these details from the database entry when completing the copy or retrieval form:

  • Name
  • Reference number: RG24, 1992-93/169
  • Box number and the file number

After 1918

Use these resources to find files for people who continued to serve after 1918:

Published documents

Related resources outside Library and Archives Canada

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