Language selection


Search veterans.gc.ca

Grave marker maintenance - FAQs

Background

We honour Canada’s fallen and preserve their legacy. One way we do this is by maintaining their gravesites and grave markers, at home and abroad.

Questions and Answers

  1. What is the Grave Marker Maintenance program?
  2. What is the difference between a war dead marker that is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and a Veteran marker that is maintained by VAC?
  3. I would like to bury a family member that is a Veteran at a Veterans’ cemetery in Esquimalt, British Columbia (God’s Acre) or in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Fort Massey). How do I retrieve more information?
  4. Who is eligible for grave marker maintenance?
  5. How can I request a repair or maintenance service for a gravesite?
  6. How will family members know when a relative’s grave marker has been repaired?
  7. Is COVID-19 having an impact on the delivery of the Grave Marker Maintenance program?
  8. What is the “Unmarked Grave Program” initiated by the Last Post Fund?
  9. I have a question about a marker maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Who should I contact?

Q1. What is the Grave Marker Maintenance program?

A1. The Grave Marker Maintenance Program preserves the memory of deceased Canadians who served their country during war, military conflict and peace by maintaining their grave markers.

Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) directly maintains more than 200,000 grave markers of former Canadian Armed Forces members. These grave markers are military-style markers and were provided and installed by the Government of Canada through the Funeral and Burial Assistance Program.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cares for the graves of 110,355 Canadians who died during the following periods:

  • the First World War – 4 August 1914 to 31 August 1921, and
  • the Second World War – 3 September 1939 to 31 December 1947.

Q2. What is the difference between a war dead marker that is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and a Veteran marker that is maintained by VAC?

A2. On behalf of the Government of Canada, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cares for the graves of 110,355 Canadians who died during the following periods:

  • the First World War – 4 August 1914 to 31 August 1921, and
  • the Second World War – 3 September 1939 to 31 December 1947.

VAC directly maintains more than 200,000 graves of Canadian Armed Forces members who died outside these dates and who qualified for the Funeral and Burial Assistance Program.

Q3. I would like to bury a family member that is a Veteran at a Veterans’ cemetery in Esquimalt, British Columbia (God’s Acre) or in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Fort Massey). How do I retrieve more information?

A3. Contact us at: cm-mc@veterans.gc.ca.

Q4. Who is eligible for grave marker maintenance?

A4. VAC maintains the gravesites and grave markers that were provided and installed by the Government of Canada, through the Funeral and Burial Assistance Program.

Funeral and burial assistance is provided through the Last Post Fund—a non-profit organization—to help pay for funeral and burial services, including a military gravestone, for Veterans who qualify.

To qualify, the Veteran must meet service as well as health or financial criteria.

Please visit the Funeral and Burial Assistance Program webpage for more information.

Q5. How can I request a repair or maintenance service for a gravesite?

A5. Please send your inquiry to cm-mc@veterans.gc.ca if you know about a Veteran’s grave marker that was installed by the Government of Canada that requires maintenance.

Q6. How will family members know when a relative’s grave marker has been repaired?

A6. VAC is unable to contact each person directly. Every effort is being made to ensure repairs are completed as soon as possible.

Q7. Is COVID-19 having an impact on the delivery of the Grave Marker Maintenance program?

A7. Inspections and repairs to Veteran grave markers across the country have been impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19. Given travel restrictions and the health and safety of our employees and contractors, we are doing our very best to ensure that every Veteran marker requiring repairs remains a priority.

You can contact cm-mc@veterans.gc.ca for any enquiries or to report a Veteran grave marker that was installed by the Government of Canada through the Funeral and Burial Assistance Program and is in need of repair.

Q8. What is the “Unmarked Grave Program” initiated by the Last Post Fund?

A8. The Last Post Fund created the “Unmarked Grave Program” to provide a permanent military-style marker for Veterans who qualify and lie in unmarked graves. The program is available to Veterans who qualify, whose graves have 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 VAC.

The Last Post Fund also introduced the Indigenous Veterans Initiative, which focuses on the unmarked graves of Veterans from Indigenous communities. Through this initiative, new and existing markers can be inscribed with the Veteran’s traditional name.

For more information or to initiate an application for the Unmarked Grave Program, please contact the Last Post Fund at 1 800 465 7113 or by email at info@lastpost.ca. More information can also be found on their website: lastpostfund.ca

Q9. I have a question about a marker maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Who should I contact?

A9. For more information about the CWGC, including how to contact them, please visit https://www.cwgc.org.

Date modified: