CWGC urges members of the public to ‘go local’ for Remembrance Sunday

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has launched a new online resource to explore local World War history

A First World War grave in Cambridge City Cemetery, maintained by the CWGC

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is urging members of the public to explore the World War heritage in their area this Remembrance Sunday.


Our War Graves, Your History features a searchable online list of war graves and memorials in Great Britain, with links to the details of those commemorated, including their name, rank, regiment, date of death and age at death.

There are also introductions to the CWGC staff in each region of Britain, and downloadable walking tours of some of the sites.

With memorial events cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, the CWGC is encouraging people to visit and pay tribute to the graves of individuals in their area who were killed fighting in the First and Second World Wars.

The CWGC maintains the graves of 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth Forces at 23,000 locations around the world.

Although the organisation is most associated with the war graves in France, it also cares for war graves at more than 12,500 locations in the UK.

For example, Cambridge City Cemetery (pictured) holds 181 graves from the First World War and 829 (including three unidentified) from the Second.

The Second World War graves include those of servicemen from Canada, Poland, Belgium and New Zealand, as well as from British regiments.

Barry Murphy, CWGC’s director general, said: “At a time when many of us are staying in our local areas, there is a still a way for us all to connect to our local World War heritage.”

Remembrance Day, on 11 November, marks the anniversary of the end of the First World War in 1918.

Large public gatherings on the day, and on Remembrance Sunday on 8 November, are likely to be cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions.


Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine