In memory of those who died this day during the Great War

  • 1915 73386 Joseph Martin, Infantry
    Buried at Military Cemetery, Shorncliffe, Kent
  • 1915 123 George Torrance, Infantry
    Buried at Earlsfield Cem, Wandsworth, London
  • 1916 420026 George Burton, Infantry
    Buried at Riddrie Park Cem, Glasgow, Glasgow
  • 1917 1054442 Philip Francis Le Cornu, Infantry
    Buried at Churchyard, St Mary, Jersey
  • 1917 2188325 Hugh McDowell, Railway Troops
    Buried at St Nicholas C of Ireland Ch, Carrickfergus, C Antrim
  • 1917 186663 Archibald Nellis Peters, Infantry
    Buried at All Saints Chyd Ext, Orpington, Kent
  • 1917 1048897 Stanley Newman Ripley, Forestry Corps
    Buried at Christ Church, Esher, Surrey
  • 1918 1093263 Frank Davey, Infantry
    Buried at Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton, Hampshire
  • 1918 3136042 Elie Maurice Gerard, Infantry
    Buried at Kirkdale Cem, Liverpool, Lancashire
  • 1918 Lieut Leslie Farries Gordon, Infantry
    Buried at Military Cemetery, Netley, Hampshire
  • 1918 697081 Kazuo Harada, Infantry
    Buried at Military Cemetery, Netley, Hampshire
  • 1918 3323727 Henry Lawrence, Engineers
    Buried at Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton, Hampshire
  • 1918 3322747 Andrew Millar Moyes, Infantry
    Buried at Kirkdale Cem, Liverpool, Lancashire
  • 1918 3322843 Hiram Smith, Infantry
    Buried at Kirkdale Cem, Liverpool, Lancashire
  • 1918 2010490 Thomas Orville Sticker, Engineers
    Buried at Kirkdale Cem, Liverpool, Lancashire
  • 1918 2013469 James Toon, Engineers
    Buried at Kirkdale Cem, Liverpool, Lancashire

War Grave Memorials

There is a widespread misconception that War Graves are of a regulation shape and standard. It is also assumed that they are all maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

However, this is not the case. Whilst across the world there are thousands of beautifully maintained war cemeteries, a large proportion of casualties were brought back to their family home and buried within a nearby cemetery or churchyard.

The CWGC headstones for Canadian casualties will display one of four different insignias with an additional two distinctive styles found in Naval Cemeteries.

However, there are also hundreds of private memorials which differ in size, shape, colour and stone for the Great War Canadians commemorated in the United Kingdom.

In this section, we have selected just a few of the wide range of war grave memorials that can be found across the United Kingdom.

In many cases, there are no longer family members living to tend the private graves. Headstones and grave kerbs have gradually deteriorated or fallen into a sad state of disrepair. These memorials have too often been classed as dangerous and taken down by the local authority.

However, if such a private grave is reported to the CWGC, the Commission can agree to erect one of their own familiar headstones to mark the last resting place of the casualty.

Canadian War Grave

A familiar CWGC headstone with the Canadian Maple Leaf insignia

Other insignias for Canadian casualties:







Distinctive headstones are found in Naval War Cemeteries

Naval headstone
Naval headstone

Memorial Walls are common, especially when the exact burial place is unknown. Canadian Private O. Vartanian whose name appears on this wall at Beckenham Cemetery, Kent was buried in an unmarked grave in the common area.

Memorial Wall

As with many old or Victorian Cemeteries, Common burial areas are now disused and covered with dense overgrowth. Some have been transformed into nature reserves.

Disused burial area
Memorial wall

Some Memorial Walls like this one at Epsom Cemetery, Surrey have a corresponding numbered plaque in the ground to indicate the burial location.

Numbered plaque

Hastings Cemetery

Hastings Cemetery, Sussex has a well maintained CWGC section. However just a few yards away, Private Hugh Brown was buried in the same grave as his uncle which was completely covered in thick grass for almost a century until exposed by the authors.

Private Hugh Brown

Private Hugh Brown

Thousands of different types of private headstones and memorials were found as the authors travelled the UK. A few samples are shown here. Sadly, some are in such a bad state of deterioration and neglect that they are in danger of disappearing altogether.

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