At the Vancouver Island Military Museum we began researching the life of a local man who was killed while flying for 204 Sqdn in Oct 1918. (See www.vimms.ca for latest newsletter and preliminary article on this man).

Osborne John Orr, DFC, 152219. Joined Imperial Royal Flying Corps (also commonly referred to as RFC Canada) Oct. 1917, in Toronto. This was not a Canadian government operation, so enquires to the Library and Archives Canada are referred to UK National Archives.

At the UK National Archives we located his attestation paper and his service record. His service record begins with his arrival from Canada in April 1918.
Historical accounts (Sullivan, Wise) indicate that Orr would have taken basic flight training in Canada, and complete records of that were kept. However, those personnel records are missing. We are particularly interested in finding out if Orr would have been part of the RFC Canada that trained in Texas that winter.

The National Archives UK responded to our enquires, and say they do not have them. The Library and Archives Canada double checked, and do not have the archive. Enquires to the following have all come up with a negative: Canadian War Museum, Canadian Department of National Defence Directorate of History, RCAF Museum, City of Toronto Archives, Archives of Ontario.

So, our research into Orr has become a search for the personnel files of the 20 000 Canadians who were in the Imperial Royal Flying Corps in Canada in 1917 and 1918. It begins to look as if they are lost.

Has anyone come across them? Any suggestions?