CWGC appeals for ‘Voices of Liberation’ to mark end of Second World War

By Rosemary Collins, 30 October 2019 - 12:18pm

The CWGC wants to create an 'archive of international importance' to mark the anniversary of the Allies' victoryAlan Gaudern Voices of Liberation father D-Day
Alan Gaudern's father William was killed in Normandy shortly after his birth (Credit: CWGC)

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is appealing for members of the public to share their testimony to commemorate D-Day and the liberation of Europe in 1945.

Voices of Liberation is a new online sound archive sharing reflections of the Second World War and CWGC sites of remembrance.

The CWGC is seeking more stories from Second World War veterans as well as people who have a relationship with a former soldier or have visited a CWGC Second World War cemetery or memorial.

Andrew Fetherston, the CWGC’s chief archivist, said: “We believe that by capturing these stories from the public we are creating an archive of international importance and a lasting legacy for those who died for our today.

“We want people to share their connections to the war and our cemeteries to ensure that as Commonwealth nations we have not forgotten their sacrifice.”

Voices of Liberation was launched to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, which began on 6 June 1944 and led to the liberation of Europe.

It will continue in the run-up to the 75th anniversary of the end of the war next year.

To take part, simply record yourself talking about your memories using prompt questions from the CWGC and upload the audio, along with a photograph of yourself.

One of the contributors to the archive is Alan Gaudern, whose father William died in Normandy on 11 July 1944.

He never met his son, who was born just five weeks previously.

In his story, Alan reads William’s final letter to his wife Ethel.

William wrote: “If I don’t come back I want you know how much I owe to you and thank you for our lovely life together.”

Alan also describes his experience of visiting his father’s grave.

“It is an emotional experience,” he says.

“I think everybody at some point in their lives should visit such a place… to see the result of the carnage and the way in which the Commission cares for them.”

 

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