Fonds 2010/17 - Directorate of History and Heritage fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Directorate of History and Heritage fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Moving images

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Reference code

CA ON00093 2010/17

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1996-2000 (Creation)
    Canada. Dept. of National Defence. Directorate of History and Heritage

Physical description area

Physical description

30 cm of textual records
4 videocassettes

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Administrative history

The Directorate of History and Heritage had its origins in the Canadian War Records Office and Canadian War Narrative Section, organized in London during the First World War. By an Order in Council of January 17, 1917 (P.C. 19), Brig. Gen. E.A. Cruikshank was attached to the Record Office and assigned the task of collecting "material and records necessary to compile the history of the present war so far as the same more particularly relates to the work undertaken and carried out in Canada". In the execution of these duties, Cruikshank was under the direct control of the Adjutant General.

By P.C. 2814 of 15 November 1918 he was transferred to the Chief of the General Staff and became the "Director of the Historical Section of the General Staff". In 1919 the Canadian War Narrative Section was transferred to Canada and amalgamated with the Historical Section in June 1921. Initially the Section was charged with the responsibility of preparing the official history of Canadian participation in the First World War, and, as well, oversaw the writing of regimental histories and, in general, answered inquiries relating to the military history of Canada.

In 1945 responsibility for the writing of the history of the First World War was passed to the C.E.F. Historian and the Historical Section concentrated its efforts on official histories of the Canadian Army in the Second World War and, later, in the Korean War. In 1964 the historical sections of the three armed services were integrated as the Armed Forces Directorate of History (DHist). After integration, the Directorate was attached to the Chief of the Defence Staff, but was shifted to the responsibility of ADM Policy and Communication in 1990. In 1996, ADM Personnel took responsibility for DHist. On 1 September 1996, the Directorate of History and the Directorate of Military Traditions and Heritage (DMTH) were amalgamated to form the Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH.)

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of material collected by DHH on the Unknown Soldier millennium project. Includes six volumes of Millennium Project files detailing the repatriation of the Unknown Soldier during 1997-2000, and consisting of minutes to meetings, memoranda, correspondence, briefing notes, emails, reports, agenda and various other documents. Also includes 2 volumes of personnel information sheets of the participants in the project, an information kit in French, draft issue of instructions and a draft issue entitled “Operation Memoria The Repatriation of Canada’s Unknown Soldier 23-28 May 2000.” There are also four videocassettes regarding Operation Memoria and the ceremony of 28 May 2000.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds was gathered at the Directorate of History and Heritage by the different sections and donated to the Archives on 15 Aug 2013 and 17 Dec 2013.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Language and script note

    There are some documents in French.

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    Restrictions on access

    Box 1 is Unclassified and Box 2 is Classified.

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication


    Finding aids

    Copies of the finding aid are located in the first file of the fonds and in the Reading Room at the Directorate of History and Heritage. Electronic copies are also available.

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    No further accruals are expected.

    General note

    The purpose of Operation Memoria was to create a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa to symbolize the sacrifices of Canadians in the restoration of peace, past, present, and future. It involved the repatriation of the remains of an unknown Canadian soldier from a Canadian Military Cemetery in Europe and the internment of these remains in a granite sarcophagus. The plan received final approval on 16 December 1998. It involved several Canadian government agencies and departments as well as The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Government of France. Given the significance of the battle of Vimy Ridge in Canadian military history, it was decided that Canada’s unknown soldier would be selected from there “known only unto God” from the Cabaret-Rouge Military Cemetery close to Vimy. The remains came from Plot 8, Row E, Grave 7.

    General note

    The 4 videocassettes are stored in the 2nd floor Archives Microfilm Area.

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