Gillespies have served in many wars, with records in this library as early as the 1600s in Ireland. The first Canadian military record on file is for September 1759 for a Gillespie military leader on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City and the struggle between the French and British for control of Canada. His roots have been researched to Renfew County in Ontario where his family later settled. Another Scottish Gillespie soldier, in the same battle in Quebec, had  arrived from Fort George, near Inverness, Scotland. His family history is recorded on this website.

In 2014, I stood  in Westminister Cathedral in London, England looking down at the grave of the British leader of that great battle in Quebec, General James Wolfe (1727-59) which determined Canada’s future British roots instead of French ones, in awe of the history that is remembered on these pages.

Click on the links below to find Gillespie records in military conflicts around the world. See a new addition– the top 20 military powers in 2016.

Ireland Early Military Records

The American Revolution    (recovered)

The War of 1812: Canada vs US Colonies

Upper Canada Militia – 1828, 1829

The India Mutiny 1857-1859

American Civil War 1861-1865 

Lee Surrender


The Boer War, Africa  1899-1902 – see photo of a British mule train straining up a hill. My Uncle, James Gillespie, my Dad’s brother from the Ottawa area of Canada, served in that war in Africa. He came home  in 1901, married a local girl from Hazaldean, became a fireman, and lived to be into his 90s.

Navy Seaman, United Kingdom, 1835-1941

British Army Service Records 1760-1915

World War 1: 1914-1918     Photo of men in the trenches

My Grampa, my Dad’s father, John Gillespie married a widow in 1900 in Billings Bridge, Ontario near Ottawa. One of her sons, Ernest Davis, from her first marriage, enlisted in Saskatchewan, went overseas in 1916 and died in 1918 age 24 in the Somme area of France.   I just found his grave.

World War II: 1937-1945

Photo of Omaha Beach

I have interviewed and filmed a World War II vet and his wife in Duncan, Grey County, Ontario Canada. It took two visits to get him to open up a bit about his arrival as a medic in France a week after D-Day, and some of the terrible things he endured. Immediately after a conflict, he helped carry the bodies of injured men on stretchers back to a makeshift hospital set up in various areas. The medics following the soldiers who were moving along dangerous roads lined with thick hedges that sometimes hid the enemy.

His wife he would meet later when he came home after the war ended. She was working in a factory in Toronto making Brenn Guns. They have been married over 60 years, still living independantly on their farm, a marvellous testimony of love and faithfulness through the hardest of times.


 Korean War 1950 – 1953

When I was a student at a college in Alberta in my 20s, I lived off campus with a family that included a man who had been a seaman during the Korean Conflict. The little that he shared gave a glimpse into the stress, the fear, and strain of those dangerous times.

Vietnam War 1955-1975 

The Vietnam War caused the majority of my classmates to come to a Canadian college in Alberta during the turmoil of the 1960s. I was in love with one of those American men, but he left for Georgia military training and war, while I drove overland to with a group to live and work in India and Nepal far from the conflict. How many of my classmates died in Vietnam I have not been able to discover, but most were drafted as soon as they returned home. So this war was especially personal to me.

Obituaries of Career Soldiers

Forces Reunited – British Soldiers’ Website. Forces War Records has over seven million individuals records and a ton of supplementary military data not found on any other sites.

USA 601 Billion 1,400,000 8,848 13, 892 72
RUSSIA 84.5 Billion 766,055 15,398 3,429 55
CHINA 216 Billion 2,333,000 9,150 2,860 67
JAPAN 41.6 Billion 247, 173 678 1,613 16
INDIA 50 Billion 1,325,000 6,464 1,905 15
FRANCE 62.3 Billion 202,761 423 1,264 10
SOUTH KOREA 62.3 Billion 624, 465 2,381 1,412 13
ITALY 34 Billion 320,000 586 760 6
UNITED KINGDOM 60.5 Billion 146,980 407 936 10
TURKEY 18.2 Billion 410, 500 3,778 1,020 13
PAKISTAN 7 Billion 617,000 2,924 914 8
EGYPT 4.4 Billion 468, 500 4,624 1,107 4
TAIWAN 10.7 Billion 290, 000 2,005 804 4
ISRAEL 17 Billion 160,000 4,170 684 5
AUSTRALIA 26.1 Billion 58,000 59 408 6
THAILAND 5.39 Billion 306,000 722 573 0
POLAND 9.4 Billion 12,000 467 1,009 5
GERMANY 40.2 Billion 179,046 663 408 4
INDONESIA 6.9 Billion 476,000 405 468 2
CANADA 15.7 Billion 92,000 420 181 4
TOTALS   4,160,491 64,572 35,647 319

Note: This report,  in order of miltary might, seems to have two errors to me on military budget re USA & China. Is it possible that these two nations actually spend that kind of money for the military,  or was there a typo in that original report so should it read USA 60.1 Billion and China 21.6 billion? That doesn’t sound right either for the largest nation in the East.  The accompanying notes say that Russia has the most powerful armed forces in the world, and Israel is using many drones as part of its forces.


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Website for Gillespie records world-wide