• RCS Ottawa

Meet the grave hunters: British retirees battle overgrown cemeteries to find long-lost Canadian war

Adrian Watkinson and his partner, Diana Beaupré, have spent the past nine years trudging through some 867 graveyards in 89 counties in all corners of the United Kingdom. Their ambition is to visit, document and create a comprehensive memorial to the 3,897 long dead and mostly forgotten Canadian servicemen and women who perished, not on the battlefields, but in Great Britain during the First World War — some from wounds suffered at Vimy Ridge.

They do this work for free.

“We have never given ourselves a label,” Diana said with a laugh from the couples’ “headquarters” (aka their cottage-home) in southeast England. “I don’t know what we are — are we grave hunters?”

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