British Unit War Diaries at Library and Archives Canada

While the majority of British Unit war diaries can be found in the National Archives at Kew you may or may not be aware that some are held at Library and Archives Canada. This smaller set of British diaries represent units that for a short period of time found themselves under Canadian command.

The diaries are something of a mixed bag but they are free to access and include some interesting documents. For example, the “Second Army, Sketch Maps” diaries contained a number of Passchendaele related maps including the two featured above.

Library and Archives Canada’s War Diaries of the First World War page provides a list of keywords that you can use to search for British Unit war diaries. The list I’ve included below is broken out into more detail and includes date ranges for each record set. You’ll find the Enhanced Archives Search tips from my recent article, Improvements to Viewing Canadian War Diaries at LAC, work just as well for British Unit war diaries.

First Army
  • First Army, Administrative Branches of the Staff (1915/02/01 – 1915/06/30)
  • First Army Operation (1918/08/26 – 1918/11/11)
  • First Army (1915/02/07 – 1918/11/11)
  • First Army, General Staff (1915/03/01 – 1915/06/30)
  • Attack on Vimy by 1st Army (1917/03/20 – 1917/05/17)
Second Army
  • Second Army, Orders and Summaries (1915/11/22 – 1916/09/21)
  • Second Army – Orders and Summaries (1915/09/15 – 1915/11/21)
  • Second Army – Orders and Summaries (1915/12/24 – 1916/07/22)
  • Second Army, General Staff (1915/02/01 – 1917/11/30)
  • Second Army, General Staff (1916/01 – 1917/11)
  • Second Army – Quartermaster General (1916/02/01 – 1916/08/31)
  • Second Army – Reports, 3rd Division (1916/03/18)
  • Second Army, Administrative Branches of Staff (1915/02/01 – 1917/11/30)
  • Second Army (1916/07/31 – 1916/10/31)
  • Second Army (1915/04/01 – 1917/11/30)
  • Second Army, Sketch Maps (1915/10/11 – 1917/11/18)
  • 2nd Army Battle of Messines (1917/06)
  • 2nd Army Diary (1916/02/01 – 1916/05/31)
  • 2nd Army Diary (1916/06/01 – 1916/08/31)
  • 2nd Army – Conferences (1916/01 – 1916/08)
Fourth Army 
  • Fourth Army, Administrative Branches of the Staff (1918/08/01 – 1918/08/31)
  • Fourth Army, General Staff (1918/08/01 – 1918/08/31)
Fifth Army
  • Reserve and Fifth Army, General Staff (1916/08/01 – 1916/11/30)
  • Reserve and Fifth Army, Administrative Branches of the Staff (1916/08/01 – 1916/11/30)
Corps Diaries
  • XIV Corps (1916/06/16 – 1916/06/22)
  • XVII Corps (1918/09/01 – 1918/09/30)
Divisional Diares
  • 11th Division (1918/09/01 – 1918/09/30)
  • 20th Division (1916/06)
  • 24th Division (Maps – 1916/04)
  • 27th Division General Staff (1915/04 – 1915/05)
  • 27th Division – Intelligence (1915/01/07 – 1915/01/30)
  • 27th Division – HQ, Royal Regiment of Artillery (1914/11/17 – 1915/11/21)
  • 27th Division – Misc (1915/04/01 – 1915/05/31)
  • 27th Division – Administrative Branches of the Staff (1914/12/19 – 1915/07/21)
  • 27th Division – Headquarters (1914/11/13 – 1915/11/15)
  • 28th Division General Staff (1915/03/31 – 1915/05/28)
  • 28th Division – Misc (1915/04/01 – 1915/05/06)
  • 50th Division – Misc (1915/04/19 – 1915/05/04)
  • 55th Division – Misc (1915/10/01 – 1915/12/31)
  • 80th Infantry Brigade (1914/11/17 – 1915/06/30 & 1915/07/01 – 1915/11/30)
  • Guards Division (1916/04 – 1916/05)
  • Lahore Division (1915/04/01 – 1915/05/31)
  • Lahore Division Brigades and Battalions (1915/04/01 – 1915/05/31)
  • Lahore Divisional Artillery (1915/12/01 – 1916/11/30 & 1916/12/01 – 1917/07/31)
  • Lahore Divisional Ammunition (1916/02/01 – 1917/07/31)
Cavalry
  • Cavalry Corps Nos. 1 to 5 Calvary Divisions (1915/04/01 – 1915/05/31)
  • 1st Cavalry Division (1918/08/01 – 1918/08/31)
  • 3rd Cavalry Division (1918/08/01 – 1918/08/31)
Royal Engineers
  • Commander, Royal Engineers (1917/05/02 – 1917/10/31 & 1917/11/01 – 1919/01/31)
  • 215th Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers (1917/05/01 – 1917/09/30)
  • 11th Labour Company, Royal Engineers (1916/02/01 – 1916/03/31)
  • 152nd Labour Company, Royal Engineers (1918/09/01 – 1918/09/30)
  • 55th Labour Company, Royal Engineers (1918/09/01 – 1918/09/30)
Royal Army Service Corps
  • 69th Army Auxiliary Steam Company, Royal Army Service Corps (1917/07/01 – 1917/09/30)
  • 49th Ammunition Sub-Park, Royal Army Service Corps (1917/10/01 – 1917/10/31)
  • 74th Divisional Motor Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps (1918/05/01 – 1918/05/31)
  • 6th Reserve Park, Royal Army Service Corps (1917/07/01 – 1917/09/30)
  • 402nd Motor Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps (1917/10/01 – 1919/07/31)
Royal Army Medical Corps
  • 11th Motor Ambulance Convoy, Royal Army Medical Corps (1916/04/01 – 1916/08/31)
  • 14th Motor Ambulance Convoy, Royal Army Medical Corps (1916/01/01 – 1916/02/29)
Other Diary Keywords
  • West Lancs Divisional Artillery (1915/10/01 – 1915/11/30)
  • West Lancs Brigade (1915/10/01 – 1915/11/30)
  • 9th Infantry Brigade (1916/04/01 – 1916/04/30)
  • Royal Welsh Fusiliers (1916/03/01 – 1916/03/31)
  • Royal Flying Corps (1916/06/16 – 1916/06/22)
  • Artillery Festubert (1915/05/01 – 1915/06/30)
  • Infantry Givenchy (1915/05/12 – 1915/06/30)
  • St. Eloi
  • Sketches and Locations (1915/03 – 1918/01)
  • Royal Artillery
  • 35th Trench Howitzer Battery (1915/07/01 – 1915/07/31)
  • Reserve Divisional Ammunition Column (1916/02/01 – 1917/07/31)
  • Reserve Divisional Trench Mortar Group (1916/10/01 – 1917/06/30)

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