The Commonwealth War Graves Commission – A Tribute

The Editor

No one who has seen a Commonwealth War Graves Commission War Cemetery will need any words to recall the sheer beauty and overwhelming sense of care, pride and honour which pervades the atmosphere. The men and women who lie there in peace have a truly honourable place to sleep.

Equally for those who have not been aware of the work of The Commonwealth War Graves Commission there are few words to explain the magnitude of the task they have set themselves, no language can convey the sensitivity and meticulous attention with which they achieve such remarkable results.

So let the Commission speak for themselves. Below is a list of references and publications which set out the Commission’s task and how it is achieved. It is not the normal corporate quality with which we are besieged day by day. It is an honourable quality, it comes from the heart and the soul. Their work and literature quietly tells us all why they are there.

The Commission’s Information Sheet listing their various publications is enclosed with this tribute. It shows very clearly the extent of information available, and unbelievably most of it is free. Take a glance; as a starting point we commend the Annual Report.

The next essential port of call for those with Internet access (at home or in the local library) is a visit to their web site. The central part of this site is access to their data base which lists the names of those who died in both world wars. It gives details of dates of death, regiments and place of burial or commemoration; where known close relatives of the time are listed. The site is wide ranging and contains clear explanations and beautiful illustrations. One can also download all of the information sheets and print them out at home! What a facility. The site has increased the number of enquiries from 40,000 a year now to half a million hits a week world-wide!

Armed with this wide range of clear information a visit to a War Grave site is a must. Each one is tended with the utmost care, gardened with the beauty of nature and complete with a listing of all who lie or are commemorated therein.

Finally in Part 3 we show the main memorials of those who have no known grave. Many of the men commemorated locally have their names inscribed upon these magnificent memorials.

As a nation we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. As a community and a local group we thank them for all that they do and for making this Book of Honour possible.