Far From Home - Canadian War Graves in the UK

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Our “Far From Home” project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016 to commemorate the Centennial of the Great War. Our objective is to create a permanent and comprehensive memorial to the 3893 casualties sustained by the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Great Britain during the First World War. It is a little known historical fact that over sixty per-cent of the CEF were British born, which explains why so many lie buried in obscure churchyards and far-flung tiny cemeteries.

The Authors are frequently asked to give a talk on
their “Far From Home” project.
This they are happy to do within a reasonable
radius of their home in Canterbury.
If you would like to invite us to give a talk to your
club or organisation, please contact us on
info@canadianukgravesww1.co.uk .


We would invite like- minded individuals and organisations
to assist us with
Sponsorship
Please click here for further details on how you can help.

It is vital that all existing graves in 853 locations in 88 counties and 9 islands across the United Kingdom are recorded for posterity. Often, there was only a single soldier buried in a churchyard or cemetery, some of which are in remote locations or are now disused. A shortage of land has already lead to the removal of many older graves. It is highly probable that many more graves and cemeteries will disappear altogether, in response to the demand across the UK for more land to provide open spaces.

Although the distinctive CWGC headstone can be seen throughout the United Kingdom many of the Canadians were buried privately, often in a family plot. Instead of the familiar CWGC stone, individual memorials were erected but a high number of these have not been maintained for years. They are neglected and overgrown, with memorial stones broken or fallen over with others covered by vegetation.

A large proportion of the Canadians died in circumstances not directly related to the battlefield. Illness, accident and suicide claimed a substantial number of their lives.

Importantly, a profile has been collated on every individual soldier, sailor or nurse, drawing on research sources in both Britain and Canada. This includes the cause and place of death, along with the UK death certificate number. The bulk of the information in our series is not available on the Internet. As a personal tribute, each grave has been visited and personally photographed by the authors using their own special signature. In addition, inscriptions on the headstones have been recorded.

This work is intended as a tribute to all those Canadian men and women who flocked to Britain to fight for the “Mother Country” between 1914 and 1918. It is important to remember that the CWGC used the 31st August 1921 for the First World War Casualty cut-off date. As a high percentage of WW1 Canadians were British born, this series will be of great interest internationally, but particularly on both sides of the Atlantic. These volumes serve as a unique individual memorial to those buried across the length and breadth of Britain. The information contained in these CD-ROM’s has not been produced in any other specialist publication. To assist researchers, we have included last known family addresses and locations.

 

© D. Beaupré & Adrian Watkinson
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