Language selection


Remembrance Dog Tags – Fallen Canadian peacekeepers


To increase youth awareness about Canadians who have died in military service during peacekeeping missions.


Through this activity, youth will:

  • better understand the contributions of Canadian Armed Forces members who died during peacekeeping missions; and
  • learn more about military “dog tags”

Target audience

This activity is aimed at youth between the ages of 12 and 18.

Activity sequence and expected duration [75 minutes]

(The activity can be modified to fit the amount of time available.)

  • Introductory discussion [15 minutes]
  • Research and preparation [15 minutes]
  • Presentations [30 minutes]
  • Wrap-up discussion [15 minutes]
  • Possible extension activity [variable]


Introductory discussion [15 minutes]

The first United Nations peacekeeping mission was established in 1948. Canada has long been a leader in international peacekeeping. The pioneering vision of Lester B. Person, a Canadian diplomat, helped pave the way for many large-scale peacekeeping missions that have taken place around the globe over the decades.

Prior to the student research activity, you may wish to refer to the historical sheet The Faces of Peace – Canadian peacekeepers for some context.

Peacekeeping is a very challenging assignment for our military personnel. Some 130 Canadian service members have died in these missions. Harry Angle was our country’s first peacekeeping fatality in 1950.

Tell your students the 75 fallen peacekeepers have been used to represent all regions of the country, from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia. By focussing on one individual in their research project, we can think about the more than 125,000 Canadians who have served in peacekeeping missions.

What is a military dog tag?

Ask the students if they know what a military dog tag is. Have they ever seen one?

A dog tag is a piece of formal identification designed for military personnel. Soldiers must wear them when they are on duty. The term “dog tag” comes from its similarity to the tags used to identify dogs. Officially, it is called an “identity disc” or “ID tag.” The tag bears important information about the person wearing it, such as the person’s name, rank, service number, blood type and religion. This is so the appropriate clergy person can be called in case of injury or death.

Canadian troops have been wearing identification tags since the First World War. Canadian tags are now designed to be broken into two pieces in the event of the person’s death. One piece stays with the deceased and the Department of National Defence keeps the other piece of the tag. 

Click on the following links to see commemorative pages showing images of some dog tags:

Remembrance dog tags help youth to “put a face on remembrance.” More specifically in the context of this learning activity, these tags help youth to remember the brave Canadian peacekeepers who have died in service.

Research and preparation [15 minutes]

Using card-stock paper for added strength, print the dog tags of 75 fallen Canadian peacekeepers (PDF). This document includes information on 75 Canadians from all across the country who died while serving in peacekeeping missions over the past seven decades.

  • Cut out each dog tag. Laminate them if you would like to reuse them.
  • Punch two holes in each of the dog tags and insert a piece of string or a metal chain through the holes.
  • Hand out the dog tags.
  • Have students research the individuals using the Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Ask them to add the service number and age of the individual directly on the dog tag.
  • The students can search the Internet to find more personal information about the individual, to enrich the presentations. Students could include the hometown, where the peacekeeper enlisted, the places they served, cause of death and where the individual is buried.

What is the Canadian Virtual War Memorial?

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial is a registry of more than 120,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served valiantly and gave their lives for their country. This database  includes the memorials of more than 1,900 people who have died in service to Canada since the Korean War, including in peacekeeping missions and other military efforts. It also has digitized photographs and personal memorabilia. The purpose of the Canadian Virtual War Memorial is to honour and remember those who served in the defence of freedom. Their service contributed to the development of Canada as a nation.

For further research

Researching an individual who died after the Second World War can be challenging. Official sources of relevant personal information, like Library and Archives Canada, are generally not accessible due to privacy legislation. A minimum number of years must have passed before their military records are made public. Students can still search online to find relevant public information. Newspaper websites may have articles about the people they are researching.

Presentations [30 minutes]

Ask each student to present information on his or her peacekeeper who died in service.

Wrap-up discussion [15 minutes]

Lead a discussion on the dog tag activity by asking questions like:

  • Have your students reflect on the following expression: “Peacekeeping is no job for a soldier, but only a soldier can do it.” What does this mean?
  • Do the students now have a better appreciation of the contributions made by Canadian peacekeepers, especially those who died in service?
  • Is it relevant to take the time to remember Canadians who died in service, whether it was more than one hundred years ago, or more recently?
  • Are our fallen peacekeepers getting the same recognition as Canadians who died in the First World War or the Second World War?
  • Are there other ways of using the dog tags to honour those who have served? For example, wearing the dog tag during remembrance ceremonies.

Possible extension activity [variable]

Students could research a relative or someone from their community or region who served in uniform during a peacekeeping mission. If that person is a Veteran or a still-serving member, the student could invite them to class to share their experiences. They could talk about what it is like to serve in the military.

Students could research key events and locations with links to Canadian peacekeeping efforts:

Date modified: