Work of the War Graves Commission
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)…
honours the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars, and ensures they will never be forgotten.
Their work commemorates the war dead, from building and maintaining our cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries and territories to preservation of their extensive records and archives. Their values and aims, laid out in 1917, are as relevant now as they were 100 years ago.
The Commission’s principles are:
- Each of the dead should be commemorated by name on the headstone or memoria
- Headstones and memorials should be permanent
- Headstones should be uniform
- There should be no distinction made on account of military rank, race or creed
Since establishment by Royal Charter they have constructed 2,500 war cemeteries and plots, erected headstones over graves and where the remains are missing, inscribed the names of the dead on permanent memorials. More than a million burials are now commemorated at military and civil sites in more than 150 countries and territories.
A lecture by Fiona Smith, Senior Public Events Coordinator