Wednesday, December 05, 2012
http://cefresearch.ca (the .com site is now closed)
The MATRIX is at this new site at:
The FORUM is at:
http://cefresearch.ca/phpbb3 (yes ... we finally upgraded the software!)
and we are pleased to announce that the MATRIX is now undergoing a major "face lift" as we are transferring all the pages to a new Wiki format so all members can participate in the updating process. The new Wiki is at:
The web based MATRIX will remain in place as it now exists but the new pages will be added to the Wiki site - perhaps with copies later added back into the Matrix. At present all of the MATRIX UTILITIES remain on the web site version.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
An important part of the MATRIX PROJECT is to have input from a large number of CEFSG members and other military researchers. As such, if you have information on any specific unit (Army Corp or Corp Troops), please send in that information via the forum or e-mail. I am particularly interested in information from researchers that focus on specific groups of units such as the ARTILLERY, CAVALRY, MACHINE GUN CORPS, MEDICAL, ENGINEERS, etc. Although this is not a WIKI site (only because I do not know how to do that!) the philosophy is the same - it is a group effort.
I hope to hear from many members in the upcoming months! Please don't be shy!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
You can now follow the CEF MATRIX on Twitter. If you are a CEFSG member, you have direct access to that Twitter page to post your own important notices. Please keep any postings directly related to the topics on the Matrix. You will find the Twitter page here: http://twitter.com/cefmatrix
Other "CEFSG Shared Resources" which use the common USER NAME and PASSWORD are:
- The MediaFire Site for the sharing of large files
- The ISSUU self publishing site
- The PHOTOBUCKET shared pictures storage
If you do not know the user name and password, contact the Matrix directly by PM from the forum or by direct e-mail. You will need to provide your real contact information so you can be identified as a qualified registered member of the CEF Study Group.
You can find the CEF Research Group Forum topics for the MATRIX here:
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Al Craig and Larry Will have been sending in updates to their projects on a regular basis (Troopships; Cap Badges) and I have tried to keep up with them as best I can. Larry has a number of new partners on his team (Rob Lambert, in particular) that are providing new information.
If you have an interesting project in mind - let us know and we can help make that a MATRIX PROJECT.
Monday, March 16, 2009
- Larry Will has worked diligently to expand the the Cap Badge Collection, with some great new images in many of the unit categories. A number of members have joined this initiative and now are sending images to Larry to process for the Matrix Utility.
- Thanks to our contributor from Belgium, we now have all of the text and audio for the Flanders Fields Collection from the 1960s. The text is on the Matrix but the audio portion was uploaded from Belgium to the MediaFire account. That may be the only place that a full set of the LPs is located.
- The CEF Reserve Battalions had always been one of the great mysteries of the CEF. What units went where and where did those units end up in the war. The Reserve Battalion Utility now provides information for your first step in tracing these units. Thanks to Mark Hopkins for his effort to clear up this issue.
- A great number of CEFSG members had CEF Service Records in their personal files. This year we have used a MediaFire account to assemble and publish many of these records. We look forward to other members submissions to enhance this collection. Are you ready to participate?
- Al Craig has done a fantastic job expanding the Matrix Troopship Utility and adding many more units that are covered. All of the new information is updated almost monthly on the Matrix pages and the spreadsheets are loaded intact into the Matrix Spreadsheet Directory.
- Michael Thierens has been coordinating the War Diary Utility for a number of years and so we are now seeing the fruit of his labours. After many months of transcription by a large number of members, the first of the war diaries are now on the Matrix.
- The year of 2008 would not have been complete without the incredible input from Bob Richardson who contributed his complete collection to the Matrix Nominal Roll Utility in December. All of those were scanned and uploaded to the new Matrix Media Fire Account and the downloading of these has been daily and on a world wide basis. Thanks to Tighe McManus and Dion Loach for their significant input to check and correct all these entries.
- The 2009 New Year brought the addition of the Chronology of the War which is a year-by-year listing of the major events of the Great War on the International and the Canadian scene. This utility is a compilation of the major texts and web sites on this topic. World wide members are encouraged to add their own information to this utility.
At the moment, there is nothing major on the agenda for 2009. There is still a lot of work to be completed to finish the unit pages in all of the CEF Divisions. Although that was the reason for the start of this project, it is the slowest component to reach completion. Any members that want to contribute to the advance of that task are asked to join the Matrix Team.
Without doubt, the 2009 year will result in some new projects that have not even been dreamed of to date. If you have ideas or suggestions, speak now and participate.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
In September 2007 a new Matrix Utility was added, to bring as many as possible of the Nominal Rolls of "Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men". This initiative started with the contributions from Graham Stewart (from the Great War Forum) and now a number of other GWF and CEFSG members are joining the team. We hope to receive and post many more during the fall of 2007. The nominal rolls are scanned and printed as PDF documents, after which they are posted to the Internet Archive web site, to be shared with anyone having an interest in the Great War. You will find an Index and Links to these rolls as a Matrix Utility here:
Matrix Utility: Nominal Roll of Officers, NCOs and Men
During the summer months the Matrix GOC was also sidetracked to work on the Milton Soldiers Project, first updating the information for the Maple Leaf Legacy Project, then starting on the new plans to use GPS to log soldier's grave sites. A new web site was started for the Milton Historical Society to created a better home for the Milton Soldiers who perished in the Great War. The details of service and a summary of their final days are reported in the Soldier Details.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
2007 CEFSG Vimy Project
The Vimy ORBAT was updated to April 1917 specifically for this project, using the new information provided in the newly released scholarly review of the Vimy Battle. If you are an avid follower of the Battle of Vimy Ridge or the Canadian Expeditionary Force in general, you will want to order this book:
Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment
Monday, February 05, 2007
Click here for the Spring 1917 CEFSG ORBAT.
During this period we have also been working on some new initiatives that were not planned for the 2007 Matrix Year but just happened to arise out of the interest of the members. In particular, 2 of these were quickly developed as they were not only needed for the individual Matrix Pages but had developed a strong following on the Matrix. These are identified as follows:
- Distinguishing Patches: The patches were initially required to post on each of the Unit Pages in the Matrix. Initial plans to use the Nicholson images fell apart as they were too small when copied. That lead to the creation of a number of the simple patches by the Matrix Team and soon this became an "all out" adventure to create all of the patches in their most reliable form. Our special thanks to "Dr. Patch" for his guidance on that aspect of the Matrix Project. You can follow the discussion and progress at the Matrix Distinguishing Patches Topic.
- Unit Cap Badges: As the work to recreate all the patches moved forward, a member of the CEFSG graciously put forth excellent images of a great number of unit cap badges. These were also required to add to the individual unit pages, but to date we had been restricted by what was available from "off site" resources. We now have an excellent start to a CEFSG home-grown page for a great number of unit cap badges. I am sure this will grow quickly over the next few months. You can catch all the discussion about the development of this group at the Matrix Images Discussion. Take a look, the images are truly amazing!
- Troop Ship Embarkments: A special interest of one of the CEFSG members had been the identification of the transport ships that travelled from Canada to England with the troops. It was not too long before a spreadsheet started to take form, which was just as quickly forwarded to the Matrix Team and voila, a new Matrix Utility. As with all related utilities, this is a "work in progress" and we ask that if you have additions or corrections that you post them to the CEFSG Forum for Transport Ships so the Matrix can be updated.
- Great War Tributes: A less well known component of the early 2007 Matrix Growth was the addition of a page to record tributes in poem or song for the Great War. Although a "softer" side of the Matrix it is just as important as the "hard core facts" and so we are pleased to have added this as another Matrix Utility. If you are a fan of these tributes, some of which are absolutely amazing, please enter your suggestion at the CEFSG Forum Page for the Great War Tributes.
Lastly, there have been some recent additions from the CEFSG members for the Maps, Aerial Photographs and Satellites. If you are looking for something to "read and see" while enjoying your early morning espresso, then that is the page to visit. From there you can quickly move into the new age "Google Earth Community" where you will find a number of overlays of maps to the satellite images. We are looking forward to adding a number of new projects to this utility from the CEFSG members.
So for those of you that are wondering why the Fluid ORBAT is not finished, that is why - a few projects got the Matrix a "wee bit side-tracked", and that is just for our "fun time" projects. More to follow - stay tuned!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
The Order of Battle is defined as a listing of all units involved directly, or indirectly in a specific supporting role, in the conduct of a specific battle during a specific period of time. (Michael Thierens Post 2004)
We also know now that the ORBAT may also be directly related not only to a specific time, but a specific place, as not all units were in the same place at the same time on any given date. For the complete definitions from Michael and Bill, check this:
You will note from the Matrix information that we started with the Nicholson ORBAT of November 1918, as that was the final structure of the CEF at the end of the war. The new ORBAT information now goes back to show what units were involved when the Great War started in 1914 and how that changed as the battles progressed through 1915, 1916 and 1917. We have for now broken this up into the 4 Quarters of the Year so you can see how the structure changed in any one year. From that we can then branch off to any specific battle at a given time or place.
Some have said that "we can not do what we are planning to do" and of course our response has to be "who knows until we try" and it is certainly more than what we have right now. If you have an interest in this area of the CEF military history, then join us and participate in the project. If you are a follower and not a leader, then help us by reviewing what will be done and offer your comments.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Nicholson Matrix Index to Text, Maps and More!
One of the new aspects of the Nicholson Matrix pages is the introduction of the overlays of the Nicholson Maps onto Google Earth. And don't worry, it is a free program from Google - well worth the time to download and install for the Matrix and other Great War web venues. We have just started the map overlays (half dozen or more already done) so come and check them out! If you want to see them with the proper descriptors and get to the overlays fast, then come to the Google Earth Community page here:
Google Earth Canadian Expeditionary Force, Great War 1914-1919
Friday, November 03, 2006
You will find all the supporting information (i.e. maps, appendices) on my Great War Project web site:
Nicholson Great War Information
Special thanks to Lynn Lane for her excellent proofreading of all of the chapters. If anyone does find any other errors, please reply by posting your comment or send an e-mail to the matrix:
Contact the Matrix Project
There is some residual work to be completed, such as an improved version of the appendices and publishing of the index pages. We will post that information once it is complete.
Please note that if you are downloading or using any of this transcribed information, you must credit the Canadian Department of National Defence. You may not use any of this information for commercial purposes. Finally, this information is for the use of CEF Study Group Members only, so you must first register if not currently a member.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Nicholson Great War Information
The CEF Study Group has recently initiated a major project, to bring the Nicholson text to the masses, in a format that very nearly replicates the original text. If you have used the DND version in PDF you will already know that the pages are out of sequence and the footnotes are more than often missing key pieces of the original text. The DND version does not have any sketches, maps, or appendices.
The CEFSG "TNT" (Team Nicholson Transcription) is in the process of re-creating the format of the original text. Unlike the PDF version, the initial CEFSG version includes the complete and correct footnotes and the original sketches. As the maps are already posted on the Matrix, we are leaving their inclusion in the final text to the later stages of the project, but that will take place!
The Matrix Nicholson Project Transcriptions
When we are done, you will be able to download the complete text in a +95% replication of the original form. If pages are out of form, it is only by a few words or at most one sentence - the computers do have limits! There may still be some residual transcription errors, so let us know if you see anything out of the norm.
If you are interested in being a reviewer for this worthwhile project, please contract us through the Matrix Project.
Friday, August 18, 2006
The primary changes are two areas:
- We have expanded the Summary Tables in the Matrix to include the Army Troops as well as the Army Corps. In addition, we have split up the Army Corps summary so that it now includes all the Corps units, not just the Infantry Battalions. As such, you will now find a Summary Table for the Canadian Field Artillery in each of the Divisions and the Other Corps Units such as the Ammunition Columns, Canadian Engineers, Signal Companies, Trench Mortar Batteries, Canadian Machine Gun Corps, Divisional Train Canadian Army Service Corps, Field Ambulance, and the Divisional Employment Company.
- We have created a new section called the Nicholson Matrix to provide all of the Maps, Sketches, Definitions and Appendices from the Nicholson classic text dealing with the "Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919". In addition, we have included the original Table of Contents and a link to the on-line PDF version of the text.
- We have upgraded the Matrix Utilities so that they now include a wider selection of maps and aerial views and references to regimental numbers. At present we are looking at the options to create a "Fluid Orbat" (Order of Battle) to initially identify the units by year, then by quarter and eventually by month. The "dream" is to eventually tie this in with the location of each unit at each specific time.
If you are interested in following the Matrix Project, please visit us here or at the main Matrix Site. You can also register your e-mail for any specific page in the Matrix so that you will get an Automatic Matrix Update.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The CEFSG Matrix relies on the submissions that are made by the members of the CEF Study Group Forum, which come to the Matrix in a number of formats, such as:
- personal research on the members relatives, friends or community figures (i.e. those on the local cenotaph);
- private research on specific units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, which may have been associated with a specific person (i.e. granddad served in the "xth Battalion");
- military research on units within the Army Corps or the Army Troops due to specific tactics, weapons or battle honours of that unit; or
- the response of a member to a question posed by another member, a typical situation that covers a wide array of topics (people, units, equipment, battles, perpetuation, etc).
Without the submissions of the members, the Matrix would quickly stagnate, as have many other web sites covering the history of the Great War. The Matrix continues to expand because the members are active on a daily basis on the CEFSG Forum. Whenever a member makes a post that contains information that is useful to the Matrix, then that information is "captured" (or in Matrix Lingo it is "leeched") and posted to the appropriate Matrix page.
As an example of the type of information that is published and captured let us take a look at the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles. You can find this unit in the Summary Table for the Army Corps. Here you will find out that the unit was in the 3rd Division, 8th Brigade, and was recruited in Toronto, Ontario in March 1915 with Regimental Numbers assigned in the block 109101-110000.
- Forum Pages are linked to the Summary Tables so that anyone researching a specific unit will find a link from the summary to a corresponding page in the Matrix. These are identified in the summary tables as hyperlinks of the format "Forum#", to identify if it is the 1st, 2nd or xth posting relating to that topic. If you look at the 4th CMR you will see that it is linked to only one forum page identified as "Forum".
- Matrix Pages are linked to the Summary Tables when information has been received on a specific unit of the Army Corps or Army Troops. In this case a unit descriptor such as 4th CMR (4th Canadian Mounted Rifles) would take you to the specific page on this unit. It is on this unit specific page that members information would be posted as it relates to Active Dates, Theater of Operations, Major Battles / Battle Honours, Location and Details of War Diaries, Unit Background, Sub Components (i.e. battalions in a brigade) and finally the References (texts, web sites, personal research).
- War Diary details are provided in three components. The first component which is listed on the Matrix Summary is the link to the war diary page and Library and Archives Canada. For example, if you check the 4th CMR you will see this link: WDL. To arrive at the second component of the war diary information you have to go to the specific unit page, such as 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles where you will find if there have been any transcriptions made of the war diary by CEFSG member. The third component would be any additional details extracted by Marc Leroux's computer program by the skillful fingers of Michael Thierens (aka "Grandson Michael"). For complete details of all the war diaries undergoing transcription, please refer to the CEFSG War Diary Transcripts page. For the details of the War Diary Computerized Search, you would visit the Matrix Utilities at WAR DIARY Links, which leads to a specific page for the Canadian Mounted Rifles.
A project component lead by Dwight Mercer (aka Borden Battery) is well advanced as it brings together an extensive list of Recommended Great War Websites. Here you will find the most detailed list of research material available on the Internet, all of which has been cataloged into keytopic areas.
Visit the Borden Battery Blog for the detailed list (updated monthly).
As we noted in our earlier blog posting, we encourage any other Great War enthusiasts to visit the Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group web site where you will find all the information to start your research, join the CEFSG Forum, explore the Matrix and become part of the legacy of the Great War Soldiers.
Please join us and help us continue with the Feeding of the Matrix.
The CEFSG Matrix has been designed with both the advanced researcher and the novice in mind. When you first arrive at the Matrix you will be given the option to "Enter the Matrix Now" or to opt for the "Navigation Chart Please".
If you know little or nothing about the structure of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) then we suggest that you first spend some time in the Navigation Chart. There you will quickly see how the Matrix is structured around the organization of the CEF and how you can then find where the unit that your special person served with is located within that structure. If you are experienced with the structure of the CEF, then you may wish to go directly into the Matrix and find the units your are looking for in either the Army Corps or the Army Troops. Keep in mind that this is a "work in progress" and not every unit has yet to be included in the matrix.
Once you enter the matrix directly, or through the navigation chart, you will come to the "Matrix Entrance Page" where you will then find more details about what resources are available on the Matrix. Your primary choices at this point are to go directly into "The CEF Organization", or to learn more about "The Matrix Utilities".
If you directly into the CEF Organization, you will now be able to go through all the levels of the Army Corps (the primary front-line fighting forces or Divisions) or into the Army Troops (the support units such as the Cavalry Brigades, Artillery, Engineers, Medical, etc.). Before you take that step, you might want to take a quick look at what is available in the Matrix Utilities for here you will find a host of useful information, such as:
- Matrix Updates - sign up for notifications;
- Summary Tables - links to summaries of all of the Army Corps and Army Troops units, with "quick links" to their Forum Postings, War Diaries, and Matrix Pages, along with other useful information;
- Web Site Links - the most complete resource on web sites with detailed information on the soldiers, units and battles of the Great War, from 1914 to present;
- War Diary Resources - details on the progress of researchers around the globe that are transcribing World War One Diaries of the individual CEF units, or if you can not wait, links to the sources for the actual diaries as prepared during the Great War; and
- Other Utilities - maps, aerial views, definitions and ORBATS (Orders of Battle) to enhance your research studies.
The "Matrix Team" (you will see them identified on individual pages) are working constantly to bring you new information in a form that is readily accessible and easy to use. We are however all "volunteers recruits" and our work may not be perfect, it certainly has no guarantees, and we always welcome new members with new questions or ideas.
If you have any questions or comments about the "Matrix Project", please leave your comments here or alternatively "Register at the Forum" and then make a post under "CEF Study Group Projects / CEF Unit Matrix". If you prefer to send an e-mail, you will find my contact information in the footer of every Matrix page.
An international group of Military "Buffs" and Family "Genealogists" have renewed the interest in the CEF, as they search for and record information on their family members, friends, and other persons of interest (i.e. men listed on community cenotaphs or in local war cemeteries). A massive amount of information on the men and women of the CEF has been posted to the CEF Study Group Forum under a wide variety of topics, including personal histories, research on specific battles, transcription of war diaries, medals & decorations, military equipment and specific unit histories.
To assist in the understanding of the structure of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), the team started a new project in March 2006 to document the matrix structure of the Canadian Army. Using the on-line CEF Matrix a researcher can now determine where the soldiers unit (i.e. infantry battalion, artillery brigade, engineers troop) fit into the overall concept of the Canadian Army. The "Matrix" is a work in progress and is reliant on the submissions of CEFSG members who are researching specific units, transcribing war diaries, or studying the history of specific battles.
The purpose of this BLOG is to have a place to be able to report on the development of the Matrix in "real time". As new sections are created or new concepts introduced, we will report on the progress. We encourage anyone that wants to join the study team to come to the CEF Forum and register. If you are not ready to add to the data base at this time, you are still welcome to just come and browse.
You do not have to be a member of the Study Group (SG) to visit the Matrix project site, but we do suggest that your visit will be enhanced if you do become a CEFSG participant.
I will report in my next post on the structure of the Matrix (Organization, Navigation, Utilities) to give you a better idea as to what resources are available and how you can use them to enhance your research.
Richard V. Laughton
Grandson of Great War Veterans
George Van Wyck Laughton - Visit His Great War Website
Josiah Alexander Chancellor Kennedy - Visit His World War One Website