Canada entered the Second World War on 10 September 1939. Within two months they arrived in Great Britain to supplement the British Expeditionary Forces (BEF). Canadian forces served across the globe in Hong Kong, Italy, North West Europe and the North Atlantic.

Canadian troops marching into camp on arrival at Hong Kong, 16 November 1941
Canadian troops marching into camp on arrival at Hong Kong, 16 November 1941. IWM (K 1385)

The raid on Dieppe in France in August 1942 saw some 3,370 Canadian casualties, including 970 killed and almost 2,000 taken prisoner.

Canadian troops resting on board a destroyer after the raid on Dieppe, August 1942
Canadian troops resting on board a destroyer after the raid on Dieppe, August 1942. IWM (A 11218)

The Royal Canadian Navy expanded from a force of 2,000 men in 1939 to nearly 100,000 by the end of the Second World War. From six ships it grew to a force of nearly 400, the third largest navy in the world. Their main duty was to act as convoy escorts in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and to Murmansk, Russia.

Canadian crewmen of HMCS Swansea rescuing survivors from a German U-Boat
Canadian crewmen of HMCS Swansea rescuing survivors from a German U-Boat IWM (A 24329)

The CWGC commemorates more than 45,000 people who died while serving with Canadian or Newfoundland forces during the Second World War.

Related Cemeteries & Memorials

Runnymede Memorial, United Kingdom, bears the names of more than 20,290 Second World War Commonwealth airman, including more than 3,030 of the Royal Canadian Air Force who have no known grave.

Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, France, is the final resting place of nearly 2,960 Second World War Commonwealth servicemen, including more than 2,870 of Canadian forces.

Halifax Memorial, Canada, bears the names of more than 2,840 Second World War Canadian servicemen, of whom more than 1,440 serviced with the various branches of the Royal Canadian Navy.