researching the casualty reports in any issue of the Toronto Star or The Globe newspaper
published between May 1915 and December 1918. Do not start with any other sources than these. Each soldier
you choose must be from Toronto – either he lived in Toronto at the time of enlistment or his immediate family
was living in the city. To do this effectively, your first research questions will be:
At what specific moments during the war could one expect to find multiple casualty reports published in
Toronto newspapers? In other words, at what points during the First World War were Canadian soldiers
engaged in battles that resulted in heavy casualties?
STEP 1: Selecting your soldiers – The casualty reports:
A “casualty” might mean the soldier was killed, wounded, or missing in action.
Your four selected soldiers must include:
two soldiers reported killed in action or missing in action
two soldiers reported wounded
Also, you must select each of your soldiers from a different year the war: 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918.
The starting step of the assignment challenges you to develop a “feel” for whether a soldier might be worth
pursuing in your research.
What specific evidence in a casualty entry makes you think there might be hope for further research?
What is it about a casualty report that suggests that soldier might be difficult to pursue as a research
STEP 2: Locating the military service records for each of your soldiers:
All personnel records of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) have been digitized by Library and Archives
Canada (LAC) and are available via the LAC website. http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/militaryheritage/
first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/personnel-records.aspx for information about the collection.
**Locate the links to online guides on this page that will assist your reading and interpretation of personnel
The search engine for the Personnel of the First World War database can be found here:
Search your selected soldier by name and in the search result you will be able to click on your soldier’s name to
reach a page that presents you with the Attestation Paper of your selected soldier.
On this same page, will be a link to the .pdf file containing your soldier’s complete service record (See: Digitized
service file – PDF format). It may be a large file that will take some time to download. Save this file, so that you
do not have to locate it in the LAC database again.
**It is highly recommended that you use the LAC research guides found at the first link above to assist with your
reading and interpreting the records in this file.
STEP 3: Formulating research questions and researching answers to them:
See Research Sources section on pages 3-6 for required and recommended sources.
The sorts of research questions you should ask and have researched before submitting the draft include:
– When did the soldier enlist?
– What military unit did he join, and into what larger force was that unit combined?
– What was the history of his military unit in the war? When did it ship overseas; when did it reach the
front; in what battles did it fight, etc.?
– If killed, where is he buried or, if missing in action, where is he memorialized?
Title Page: The title page should list your four soldiers and provide the following information:
Soldier /Regimental Number/ Killed, Wounded, or Missing in Action / Date of Newspaper Report
Private John Smith / #111882 / Wounded / Toronto Daily Star, October 22, 1916.
Use full name of rank on cover page. e.g.: Private, not Pte, etc.
Officers were not assigned regimental numbers, so you can’t include this requirement for such soldiers.
Draft: The draft portion of the assignment will include for each of your four soldiers:
the findings of your research of each soldier’s military career, drawn from:
o attestation paper
o complete service record
o military unit histories
o war diaries
Write each soldier’s biography separately. This is a research report, not the argumentative essay you are used to
writing. It is expected that you will continue to develop your draft into your complete, final research report after I
grade it and return it to you with my comments, so create it with that in mind.
Include a reflection your research strategies that appears after your four biographies. This reflective overview
should reflect on how and why you chose each soldier; and how you tracked down his military history. It should
provide details of your research approach, methods, and outcomes in each case. As such, this portion of the draft
may produce the bulk of your writing. If your research methods were identical for each soldier, say so to eliminate
repetition. If your methods differed, explain. This section should also include for each soldier a brief identification
of the sources about his personal life before (and after) the war you have looked at or you deem suitable to pursue.
DO NOT blend your biographies and reflective statement. They are two separate portions of this report. Highlight
your research results by assembling each biography. Highlight your research processes, etc. by writing a reflective
overview that follows the four biographies.
Please use footnotes so that I do not have to scroll back and forth to check your sources. The draft must be
properly cited in Chicago Manual of Style throughout. You must also attach a properly formatted bibliography
**See the links provided in the Citation How-To Guides module on D2L.
Submitting your draft: Submit your draft to the Report Draft folder found on D2L under Assessment =>
Assignments. Drafts will be automatically submitted to Turnitin.com for textual similarity review.
Late penalties: 2% per day, each weekday and weekend day after the deadline of October 19, 2020.
NOTE: It is imperative that you submit a draft for this assignment.
Unless the draft has been received and returned with comments and a grade, the final report will not be accepted
If the draft is submitted together with the final report, neither will be accepted for grading and a grade of ‘0’ will
be recorded for each.
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