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War Diary Links for WW2 5th field ambulance RCAMC

Wleishman

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Hello

My Uncle Herman Ivan Leishman was a member of the 5th field ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in WW2. He was killed in action in Sicily on August 3rd 1943.  :remembrance:

I came across this website and I'm hoping it the members can help me.
I would really like to get the war diary for the 5th field ambulance RCAMC for 1942 and 1943.

I also sent an email to the Canadian National Archives but haven't received a reply yet.

Any info/tips are appreciated.

Regards
Wayne Leishman
 

Michael OLeary

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War Diaries for the Second World War are not yet available on line through Library and Archives Canada. LAC has a slow process and they can be expensive to order photocopies (40 cents per sheet plus postage last time I used their service). Your best bet is to hire a freelance researcher to go into the archives and pull what you want and photograph it for you.

http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/freelance-researchers/pages/freelance-researchers.aspx

My personal recommendation from the linked list is for Arnold Kay - cef.research@rogers.com.
 

Wleishman

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mariomike said:
SEARCHES: Medals, War Diaries, Service Records, etc.
https://army.ca/forums/threads/42325.0

UNIT WAR DIARIES


Contact the Unit that you want to find info from.  If they do not have copies of their War Diaries, the Archives of Canada does:  http://www.archivescanada.ca/english/contact.html or http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/02/020203_e.html

Thanks for those links but they do not work.

I'm not sure the unit still exists but I will look into it.

Wayne
 

Wleishman

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Michael O'Leary said:
War Diaries for the Second World War are not yet available on line through Library and Archives Canada. LAC has a slow process and they can be expensive to order photocopies (40 cents per sheet plus postage last time I used their service). Your best bet is to hire a freelance researcher to go into the archives and pull what you want and photograph it for you.

http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/freelance-researchers/pages/freelance-researchers.aspx

My personal recommendation from the linked list is for Arnold Kay - cef.research@rogers.com.

Michael, thanks very much for the information. I will consider the freelance researcher option.
Would I be allowed to visit the archives myself and take the photographs?

Regards
Wayne
 

Michael OLeary

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You would be able to do it yourself, but for many files, they are not physically held at the main LAC facility. Even the researchers have to go through a process (as you would) of ordering the files and arranging a time when they can be viewed. It may take a visit just to understand the process and know exactly what to request and how to do so.
 

Blackadder1916

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Wleishman said:
I'm not sure the unit still exists but I will look into it.

5e Ambulance de campagne (5e Amb de C) is a Regular Force medical unit that (at least in name) is currently the continuation of 5 Cdn Fd Amb.  This Francophone unit is based at Valcartier, Quebec.  Whether they have copies of their namesake's wartime war diaries can only be answered by them.  It may be a long shot, but not entirely unheard of.  I never served with 5e Amb de C, but in the 1990s, while with 1 Fd Amb, the unit's WW2 war diaries (or at least copies of some?) was in my office safe, however that unit did not serve overseas during the war and thus it was slim on details.
 

Wleishman

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Blackadder1916 said:
5e Ambulance de campagne (5e Amb de C) is a Regular Force medical unit that (at least in name) is currently the continuation of 5 Cdn Fd Amb.  This Francophone unit is based at Valcartier, Quebec.  Whether they have copies of their namesake's wartime war diaries can only be answered by them.  It may be a long shot, but not entirely unheard of.  I never served with 5e Amb de C, but in the 1990s, while with 1 Fd Amb, the unit's WW2 war diaries (or at least copies of some?) was in my office safe, however that unit did not serve overseas during the war and thus it was slim on details.

Thankyou! I appreciate the info. I will try to contact the unit in Quebec.

Regards
Wayne
 

Staff Weenie

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You might also try contacting 23 Field Ambulance in Hamilton. The current 5 Field Ambulance has only an artificial lineage drawn to 5 Field Ambulance of WW II - they have no geographic link at all, and they never paid any attention to the 5 Fd Amb veterans, history, etc. The old 5 Fd Amb was raised from the Hamilton to Toronto area, and the most direct linkage is to my old unit, 23 Fd Amb. I'm not sure if any of the old veterans donated their letters and diaries, etc, but we did have ties to the 5 Fd Amb Veteran's Association, and often had them at our dinners, parades, etc. They were an amazing group of people, and I was fortunate to meet some of them, and march with them on parade!
 

Wleishman

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Staff Weenie said:
You might also try contacting 23 Field Ambulance in Hamilton.

Thanks Staff Weenie. Very good info.
I have many letters my uncle sent during the war, and it's interesting to hear the stories all the way from camp Borden to Sicily. The last letter i have was dated the day before he was killed. I'd like more insight to what was going on with the unit during those days. The official story of how he was killed is a but fuzzy. I'm wondering if the unit diary will give anymore details.

Wayne
 

klambie

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If you can manage it, I'd suggest reviewing them yourself at LAC. You know what you're looking for, and you can see everything available in its original context. I'd plan on a couple of days, pre-order as much as possible so it's there when you are.

I'll second the recommendation for Arnie Kay of you decide to go that route.

If you are more patient, War Diaries are slowly being made available online though it's very unpredictable when a specific diary will show up.
This thread is an attempt by a researcher to provide links to all that are available (don't appear to be any of the Field Ambulances, but worth a closer look) and is updated reasonably regularly:
http://www.canadaatwar.ca/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=66
This researcher is maintaining a spreadsheet of all available diaries that will show what is available through search and is updated regularly.
http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/heritage-canadiana-war-diaries-update.66433/#post-733560

Note both of those are just reporting what is available online, not actually at LAC working with files.


 

Wleishman

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klambie said:
If you can manage it, I'd suggest reviewing them yourself at LAC. 

Thank you klambie. I will consider visiting LAC. I will also check out those links you provided.
I have family in Ottawa so this gives me another reason to visit.

Wayne

 

Wleishman

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Hello all

In case anyone is interested, I received a response from LAC. They gave me information about the 5th field ambulance war diaries. Here's their reply:
<Start of LAC reply>
War diaries of the Second World War can be searched through the advance search window of the Archives Search function: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/lac-bac/search/arch_adv 

The pull down menus are set to “Any Keyword”. By clicking on them, you can select a different value such as “Finding aid number”. To search for war diaries, please see the following:

1. in the first pull down menu, select “Finding Aid number” and enter “24-60”;
2. in the second pull down menu, leave the choice as “Any Keyword” and enter a keyword, for example, the unit name (5th Field Ambulance);
3. click "Submit".

A list of 7 results will appear. You can click on the underlined titles to consult the archival descriptions. The following war diaries were created between 1941 and 1943:

5th Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps.
1940/05-1941/01. File.
RG24-C-3. Volume/box number: 15852. File number: 49.
Link: http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/ourl/res.php?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_tim=2016-11-29T14%3A56%3A10Z&url_ctx_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Actx&rft_dat=929023&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fcollectionscanada.gc.ca%3Apam&lang=eng

5th Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. 1941/02-1941/06. File.
RG24-C-3. Volume/box number: 15853. File number: 49.
Link: http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/ourl/res.php?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_tim=2016-11-29T14%3A58%3A35Z&url_ctx_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Actx&rft_dat=929024&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fcollectionscanada.gc.ca%3Apam&lang=eng

5th Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. 1941/07-1941/11. File.
RG24-C-3. Volume/box number: 15854. File number: 49.
Link: http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/ourl/res.php?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_tim=2016-11-29T14%3A59%3A27Z&url_ctx_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Actx&rft_dat=929025&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fcollectionscanada.gc.ca%3Apam&lang=eng


5th Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. 1941/12-1942/12. File.
RG24-C-3. Volume/box number: 15855. File number: 49.
Link: http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/ourl/res.php?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_tim=2016-11-29T15%3A00%3A20Z&url_ctx_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Actx&rft_dat=929026&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fcollectionscanada.gc.ca%3Apam&lang=eng

5th Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. 1943/01-1944/07. File.
RG24-C-3. Volume/box number: 15856. File number: 49.
Link: http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/ourl/res.php?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_tim=2016-11-29T15%3A01%3A25Z&url_ctx_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Actx&rft_dat=929027&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fcollectionscanada.gc.ca%3Apam&lang=eng

These war diaries were not microfilmed and have not been digitized.

War diaries can be consulted onsite at LAC’s building located at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. Information regarding visiting LAC and ordering material in advance is available at the following link: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services-public/Pages/services-public.aspx#b

Please also see our blog at the following link:

Library and Archives Canada Blog - The Top Five Things You Need to Know Before You Visit
http://thediscoverblog.com/2012/05/29/the-top-five-things-you-need-to-know-before-you-visit/

If a visit is not possible, you may wish to hire a freelance researcher to view or search the material on your behalf. While LAC does not vouch for the quality of freelancers' work, it nevertheless believes them to be competent to search the sources most frequently used for research purposes. All inquiries regarding services and fees should be directed to the researcher. Please find a link to the page on our web site listing their names: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/freelance-researchers/Pages/freelance-researchers.aspx

You can place a reproduction request for the desired diaries through LAC’s online order form, which is available at the following link: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/reproduction-requests/Pages/reproduction-requests.aspx

Details regarding the price and service standards are provided at the above link.

For more details on war diaries, please see the following links:

War Diaries, Ship Logs and Operations Record Books
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/Pages/war-diaries-ship-logs-operations-records.aspx

Library and Archives Canada Blog - War Diaries of the First World War and Image Search
http://thediscoverblog.com/?s=war+diaries&submit=Search

Should you require any further information, please feel free to contact LAC again.
<End of LAC reply>

So I will think about making a visit to Ottawa to view the war diaries. I'm not sure how many pages in each war diary.
Will LAC allow me to photograph the pages OR is there an easier method?

Regards
Wayne
 

Michael OLeary

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Wleishman said:
Will LAC allow me to photograph the pages OR is there an easier method?

You will probably find that photographing them is the easy solution.

 
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