In English on gravestones one sees R.I.P.

French Canadian Cemetery gravestones use R.I.F. What do these three initials signify?

  • Good question, I have seen "repose en paix" and "rest in peace" as well as the latin "requiescat in pace" and german "Ruhe in Frieden", but not noticed RIF on french graves.
    – Mick
    Aug 3 '18 at 10:03
  • I can't see any idiom in french... I'm having hard time to fill the "i"...
    – Random
    Aug 3 '18 at 17:30
  • 1
    Maybe some word related to fidel-. Do you have a picture or link showing this, by the way?
    – Luke Sawczak
    Aug 4 '18 at 13:04
  • 1
    Are you sure that "RIF" is used in Canada? It doesn't correspond to any common phrase and I cannot find any example online, unlike "RIP" which is common. Dec 31 '18 at 9:15
  • 6
    je n'ai jamais vu « R.I.F. » sur une tombe française ou dont l'épitaphe est écrite en français. Ne pourrait-il s'agir d'un « R.I.P. », latin donc, dont le P soit abîmé ?
    – 5915961T
    Jan 3 '19 at 18:06

"RIF" is certainly the abbreviation for "rifles", an army regiment.


Since the First World War all Canadian war graves have conformed to the standards of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which gives the specifications here.

There are four elements.

Regimental symbol.
Name, rank and regiment.
Religious symbol.
Optional text chosen by the family.

If the RIF is in section 2 then the only explanation is that it is part of the name of a RIFle regiment.

If it is in section 4 then it is up to the family so it will not be a general feature of Canadian graves. However, some sort of error for RIP does seem likely.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.