The WW I vet who returned to Belgium to dig up his buried rum

A First World War veteran claimed to have found long-lost jugs of rum in Belgium more than four decades after he buried them.

Towering B.C. veteran told tale of long-lost booze on Front Page Challenge in 1960

Tiny Seymour, WWI vet, recovers rum crocks he buried in 1916

Digital Archives

2 years ago
Guildford "Tiny" Seymour talks about the rum he buried in Belgium in 1916. 8:57

Both the story and the man seemed larger than life.

Dudley Seymour's nickname was "Tiny," though he stood over 6-6" tall and weighed 360 pounds.

The towering First World War veteran told a memorable yarn that caught the attention of some news outlets — including the CBC — in 1960.

Dudley 'Tiny' Seymour was a guest on CBC's Front Page Challenge on May 17, 1960. (Front Page Challenge/CBC Digital Archives)

On a trip overseas, Seymour claimed to have found something special he had buried near Ypres, Belgium, when serving in the war some four decades before.

It was rum that he'd never been able to enjoy.

"I was given these two jars of rum by one of our captains," Seymour said, when recounting the tale on CBC's Front Page Challenge on May 17, 1960.

He'd been told to give them to a major, but that wasn't possible as that officer had been "knocked out." Instead, Seymour ended up burying the booze.

In 1959, Seymour took a trip back to Belgium and, apparently, dug up the rum in the spot where he'd left it.

But how did he remember where the jugs were?

"I dreamt about it for over 40 years," said Seymour, when asked about this on Front Page Challenge.

This image appeared on CBC's Front Page Challenge on May 17, 1960, helping to tell the audience about Dudley 'Tiny' Seymour's rum-related story. (Front Page Challenge/CBC Digital Archives)

Seymour brought some of the rum back to Canada with him. (A 2017 story in the Vancouver Sun says that Seymour and some friends drank one of the two jugs in London after he dug up the rum.)

The rum Seymour brought back, however, was a pricey souvenir — a Globe and Mail report from April 4, 1960, put the price tag on his trip at $7,000. And that didn't include the $23.99 he paid in duties and taxes.

Today, one of Seymour's jugs is in the British Columbia Regiment Museum in Vancouver.