The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

LETTER: Request for help looking for unmarked Veterans’ graves in Canada

Co-ordinator of the Last Post Fund’s Unmarked Grave Program looking for assistance

As we approach Remembrance Day, I am hoping that readership of The Progress can assist me with a solemn task related to veterans.

I am the co-ordinator of the Last Post Fund’s Unmarked Grave Program (UMG) in B.C. (www.lastpostfund.ca).

We are a non-profit organization with a mission “to ensure that no veteran is denied a dignified funeral and burial, as well as a military gravestone, due to insufficient funds at time of death.”

In many circumstances, when a veteran passed away, either they or their family did not have the financial means to purchase a marker.

As a result, I rely on British Columbians to provide me with leads to follow up, which I do so with fervour. Across Canada this year, the Last Post Fund is currently on track to provide approximately 1,000 headstones to veterans laying in unmarked graves. Our criteria to provide a marker is relatively straightforward. The UMG Program is available to eligible veterans whose grave has not had a permanent headstone or foot marker for five years or more, and who have not previously received funeral and burial funding from the Last Post Fund or Veterans Affairs Canada.

I will also point out that a veteran, to us, is someone who served, regardless of the era and how long they served. If a grave of a veteran has been marked with a temporary marker (i.e. wooden cross), we will also consider replacing it with something more permanent.

If any readers are aware of an unmarked veteran’s grave, regardless of location, I would love to hear from them. I can be reached at smithglenn039@gmail.com

Glenn Smith UE

Last Post Fund

Unmarked Grave Program

RELATED: There are plenty of ways to honour Remembrance Day without visiting cenotaphs

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