North East Wales

Canadian war graves at St Margaret's Church, Bodelwyddan given QR code

Mobile phone technology is being used to explain to visitors why more than 80 Canadian war graves are located outside a Denbighshire church.

Thousands visit St Margaret's Church in Bodelwyddan where the rows of soldiers are buried.

Most died during a flu epidemic at the end of the World War I.

Now QR (quick response) codes which can be scanned using smartphones have been placed there.

The codes were created by community-based information project HistoryPoints.org.

Scanning a QR code near the Canadian war graves allows visitors to download an account, in English or French, of how more than 17,000 Canadian servicemen and women were stationed at the nearby Kinmel Park camp for months after the end of World War I.

Most of the Canadians buried at the church in Bodelwyddan died in the global flu pandemic of 1918/19.

'Deeper insight'

But a few graves belong to soldiers who are believed to have died during mutinous riots at the camp in March 1919.

The riots are understood to have occurred when the Canadian soldiers became angry after they discovered ships earmarked to return them home were instead transferring US soldiers, many of whom had apparently not seen action in the war.

One soldier's gravestone bears the inscription "Someday, sometime, we'll understand."

Rhodri Clark, founder of HistoryPoints.org, said: "It would be hard to visit the church in Bodelwyddan and not notice the rows of war graves outside.

"For many visitors, the graves have been baffling."

"We hope our QR codes will inform many people about what happened during the difficult winter of 1918/19. Anyone who reads the story as they stand beside the graves cannot fail to be moved by it."

Mr Clark said they would like to include photos and more biographical information of the individuals buried at the church to give people "an even deeper insight".

He urged people to get in touch via the feedback form on the website if they can supply any additional material.

The website also provides the personal details of each of the men and two women who are buried in the graves, including next of kin where known.

HistoryPoints.org has placesd QRs at hundreds of places of interest around Wales.

Other features in Denbighshire which have been given QR codes include the Clive Engine House at Dyserth, Rhyl lifeboat, the Llangollen international pavilion, Gronant sand dunes and the old jail at Ruthin.

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