Another fascinating talk

Just four days after the visit to the Memorial by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, a large audience gathered at The Wing to hear a talk by John Harris from the CWGC Foundation, a charity set up by the commission to engage with communities.


The commission was originally set up as the Imperial War Graves Commission to mark and care for the graves of the fallen in the first world war. In the early days the forerunners of the commission set about establishing guidelines for battlefield cemeteries ahead of the establishment of the IWGC by Royal Warrant in 1917.


John Harris took a fascinated audience through the early controversies around how graves should be marked and how best to memorialise those who were lost but who had no known grave.


He explained that it had been a huge undertaking. English novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling, who was involved with the work, described the task as: “The biggest single bit of work since any of the pharaohs, and they only worked in their own country.”


For more than a century the CWGC has cared for the graves, memorials, records and memory of the 1.7 million commonwealth Servicemen and women who died during the two world wars. The Commission’s work is as relevant today as when it was founded in 1917 and it now employs 1,300 dedicated staff looking after war graves and memorials at a staggering 23,000 locations in more that 150 countries and territories.


For more than a century the CWGC has cared for the graves, memorials, records and memory of the 1.7 million commonwealth servicemen and women who died during the two world wars. The commission’s work is as relevant today as when it was founded in 1917 and it now employs 1,300 dedicated staff looking after the war graves and memorials at a staggering 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries and territories.


John Harris shared many interesting facts and a lively Q&A session followed. For more information see www.cwgc.org


There is still a limited number of places left for our last presentation in this autumn's season. Don't miss the chance to hear broadcaster and author Jan Leeming talk about The Mouchotte Diaries, next Sunday at 11am and 3pm. For details phone 01303 249292 or email enquiries@battleofbritainmemorial.org




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