ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION 2 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. Our 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 our extensive records and archives. Our values and aims, laid out in 1917, are as relevant now as they were 100 years ago. THERE ARE OVER 306,000 COMMEMORATIONS TO THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE COMMONWEALTH FORCES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND AT OVER 13,000 LOCATIONS. AROUND 170,000 OF THESE ARE BURIALS, WITH THE REMAINDER BEING HONOURED ON MEMORIALS TO THE MISSING. MOST SITES ARE OWNED, OPERATED AND MAINTAINED BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES, CHURCHES, PRIVATE COMPANIES OR INDIVIDUALS. BEFORE WE UNDERTAKE ANY WORK WE LIAISE WITH LOCAL COUNCILS, PARISHES OR PRIVATE LANDOWNERS. EACH SITE HAS A UNIQUE PROGRAMME OF INSPECTION, CARE AND MAINTENANCE. WE CARE FOR WAR GRAVES WITHIN THESE SITES VIA PLANNED INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAMMES. THE UK HAS THE SECOND HIGHEST CONCENTRATION OF WORLD WAR BURIALS AFTER FRANCE.
OUR AIMS 3 • We adopt a conservation approach to caring for our headstones • Inscriptions should be legible at reasonable light levels and viewing distances • Headstones should be upright, clean and accessible • The area surrounding the grave should be neat and tidy • Natural wear, weathering, nicks and chips are acceptable if they don’t affect legibility • On average we clean our headstones every two to three years but more often if necessary • Conservation and care are our priority; headstone replacement is the last option • Badges and emblems are clear enough to be recognisable 1 2 3 4 1 H A R R O G AT E (STONEFALL) CEMETERY, NORTH YORKSHIRE. 2 HAREFIELD ( S T. M A R Y ’ S ) CHURCHYARD, MIDDLESEX 3 BROOKWOOD MILITARY CEMETERY, SURREY 4 BROOKWOOD MILITARY CEMETERY, SURREY