CWGC at the heart of First World War Centenary
12 October 2012
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission will be one of the UK
government's principal partners, along with the Heritage Lottery
Fund and the Imperial War Museums, in marking the centenary of the
First World War.
The four-year programme of commemoration, announced
by Prime Minister David Cameron, will include events to
mark anniversaries across the period, including the start of the
war in 1914, the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and
the Armistice in 1918.
The government intends that the centenary will have an enduring
educational legacy, which will allow student ambassadors and a
teacher from each maintained school in England to visit the
battlefields and do research on people local to their school who
fought in the war.
The CWGC is at the centre of the government's plans. It is
committing major internal resources to a coordinated programme that
will facilitate the staging of commemorative events at the
cemeteries and memorials of the First World War; enhance the
understanding and experience for the visitors to the cemeteries and
memorials; and leave a lasting cultural legacy
The Commission is at the heart of international co-ordination
and planning for the centenaries and is in constant and close
communication with governments and related organisations in the UK,
Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India, France,
Germany, the Irish Republic and elsewhere.
The Commission has begun work on a massive interpretive
programme, with visitor information panels being erected at some
500 cemeteries and memorials across the battlefields of the First
World War. Each of the panels will explain why the cemetery
or memorial is placed where it is; an explanation of what happened
in the surrounding area during the Great War; and some historical
context. The panels will also feature Quick Response codes to allow
visitors to access the stories of some of the individual casualties
commemorated at the site.