Group Profile: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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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.

The organisation was established as the Imperial War Graves Commission by Royal Charter in 1917, although work began as early as 1915. The foresight of a man named Fabian Ware saw the work begin as he and a group of others sought to ensure the graves of casualties from WW1 were recorded and their graves cared for.

After WW1, work began in earnest to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of Commonwealth casualties by memorial or grave in perpetuity. Graves were concentrated into larger sites, cemeteries and war memorials built around the World. This work continued for the casualties of WW2. Over 100 years later, the Commission maintains sites in 23,000 locations around the world.

The Commission works on the ongoing maintenance of sites across the world, reburial of casualty remains found today and an increasing programme of public engagement. They also have a publicly accessible casualty database enabling all generations to discover more about their relatives and aid their visits to pay their respects.

Through the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation is it possible to support out emerging work with younger audiences and enable UK-specific engagement work.

The commission run Facebook Live sessions each Thursday at 2.30pm where colleagues from around the Commission share aspects of their work and the history of WW1 and WW2.

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