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Photos and maps of tens of millions of graves and related burial records will be searchable online within the next five years, thanks to a project that has been unveiled by the Church of England.
The plan will encompass all 15,000 Anglican burial grounds in England, in addition to sites both relating to other denominations and some unconsecrated areas, The Times reports.
The records, which will be available free of charge, will also provide a digital reminder of monuments that have either been lost or damaged.
Historic England and the church each provided £250,000 for the project and commercial partners may also be getting involved. While the core data will be available at no charge, users will have the option of paying for related information to help finance the project.
One of the first places surveyed was the burial ground at All Hallows Church in Kirkburton, Yorkshire, where digital maps of the churchyard have been created and volunteers have photographed monuments and scanned and transcribed parish registers.
Among the monuments recorded here was the grave of Benjamin Smith, a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, whose headstone includes a depiction of his medal from the battle.