Our “Far From Home” project is scheduled for completion during 2019 to commemorate the Centennial of the Great War. Our objective is to create a permanent and comprehensive memorial to the 3899 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.
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It is vital that all existing graves in 870 locations which lie within 90 counties and 9 islands across Great Britain 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 some cemeteries will disappear altogether, in response to the demand across Great Britain for more land to provide open spaces.
Although the distinctive CWGC headstone can be seen throughout Great Britain, 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 often neglected and overgrown, with headstones broken or fallen over and others covered by vegetation.
A large proportion of the Canadians died in circumstances not directly related to the battlefield. Serious illness, accident and suicide claimed a substantial number of their lives. Importantly, a profile has been collated on every individual soldier, sailor, airman or nurse, drawing on research sources in both Britain and Canada. Each profile includes the cause and place of death, along with the UK death certificate number. As a personal tribute, each grave found is visited and personally photographed by the authors using their own special ‘signature’. In addition, inscriptions on the headstones are 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 such 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 in addition to more detailed information about other family members whenever possible.