As part of the centenary of the First World War, the CWGC is working across the UK to increase the awareness of war graves in local areas and to remind the public that they need not travel abroad to find Commonwealth commemorations. One of the ways we are doing this is erecting our standard green CWGC signs at sites where we maintain commemorations.
Over 308,000 Commonwealth World War Dead are commemorated in the United Kingdom. Their graves and memorials can be found in a staggering 13,000 different locations. This is the highest total of World War commemorations in any country, other than France. In contrast to the military cemeteries familiar to many along the Western Front in France and Belgium, many war graves are found within larger burial grounds scattered across the country including municipal cemeteries, churchyards and private cemeteries.
Given the large number of UK sites that may qualify for a green sign, we are taking a phased approach to this initiative. The initial phase looked at municipal cemeteries where the majority of our casualties are buried. Our current phase considers the almost 6,000 Church of England sites containing war graves. Other types of burial grounds will be approached in subsequent phases.
As part of the current phase, we are working very closely with the Church of England to offer a standard green war graves sign to every Church of England site that contains a Commonwealth casualty. This involves working round the country on a Diocese by Diocese basis and contacting churches individually to discuss the requirements for each location. The Commission will only erect a sign in appropriate and agreed locations with full consent and there is no obligation to participate. All signs are erected and maintained free of charge by the CWGC.
If you would like further information on this project, please contact our enquiry team at Enquiries@cwgc.org. If possible please include the full name and address (including post code) for the burial ground so that we may easily identify it.