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Medals Stories

Description:  In partnership, the Friends of the Canadian War Museum (FCWM) and the Canadian War Museum (CWM) will create a new interactive web site and database for the Museum’s collection of First World War military medals. Through intensive biographical research and digitization of the Tilston Collection, this user-friendly web site will enable Canadians to browse and search online not only for images of specific medals and medal sets, but also, the personal and often poignant stories of the remarkable people who were awarded them. Canadians across the country—from elementary school students to scholarly researchers—will be able to browse by name, region, regiment and honour to better understand the legacies left by those who served both at home and at the front.

The project will benefit Canadians with differing objectives and purposes. Educators and students will have a unique learning tool for understanding Canada’s involvement in the First World War. Genealogists and Canadians conducting family histories will have a one-stop resource for tracing an individual’s journey through the War and its aftermath. Writers, artists, actors, film producers and creative Canadians across the globe will have a new repository of stories about ordinary and extraordinary individuals from which to gain inspiration. 

medals beforeMedals before cleaning medals afterMedals after cleaning and preservation

 Coordinated by the Museum’s Dr. Nicholas Clarke, four FCWM volunteer researchers are assisting with the completion of biographical research. To date, approximately 200 medal sets and the stories behind them have been completed. In 2016 we will see the construction of the online Web interface to which the images and text for each medal set will be incrementally added. Initial implementation, as well as further research, conservation and digitization of medals, artifact and archival materials will be key objectives for the year ahead.

Cost (Annual/ Total): The Friends have Pledged $130,000


2014: $5,000
2015: $25,000 plus Just over $10,000 from the Hennessy Legacy
2016: $25,000

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Research: The Friends are assisting with this project by providing volunteers to help research and tell the individual stories. 

  • Fund Raising: The average cost of the preservation work and research is $250/set which includes cleaning and conservation of the medals and other costs such as writing, editing and translating the stories. The Friends will launch a special fund raising campaign to assist in raising the funds required.

  • Volunteers with advertising/marketing and technical support skills are required

  • Interested Canadians can add their loved-ones medals to the Museum’s collection and add to the remarkable people stories presented. 


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