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13 August 2015

The digitised records cover British, Irish and Commonwealth casualties from the Second World War, together with records for most other nationals commemorated at CWGC sites: this includes the records for German soldiers. The release of the CWGC's Second World War records follows the successful release of the First World War archive in August 2014.

The documents give a unique insight into the process of commemoration undertaken by the armed forces and the CWGC during and after the war, and include details of personal headstone inscriptions, date of death, rank, regiment and even some documents which show the journey of the deceased to their final resting place. The records are freely available to the public through the CWGC website at

Andrew Fetherston, the CWGC's Archivist and Records Manager, said: "The release of our Second World War archive online opens a new avenue for members of the public to investigate and remember the individuals we commemorate."

"With the addition of these documents, alongside records relating to non-Commonwealth casualties buried in various sites around the world, it will now be possible, for the first time, to see the original records of all 1.7 million individuals the Commission commemorates."

"The archive will greatly enhance the experience of searching the CWGC's records and will mean that millions of people across the Commonwealth could discover more about their relatives who fought and died during the Second World War."

The CWGC is hosting a live Q&A session across the organisation's Twitter and Facebook platforms on 17 August at midday to give the public the opportunity to ask questions and receive tips on how to get the most out of the archived documents. To take part people simply need to tweet their question to @CWGC using the hashtag #CWGCarchive or post it on the timeline at

For more information, contact: Peter Francis on 01628 507163 or 07766 255884 or by email

Notes for editors:
1. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission ( maintains the graves of the 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died during the two world wars. It also holds and updates an extensive and accessible records archive available online at

The CWGC operates in over 23,000 locations in 154 countries across all continents except for Antarctica.

1914-18: High-profile worldwide events will take place to mark the centenary of the First World War, many of which will take place at Commission sites. The CWGC will ensure that these sites are maintained to the highest standard and is installing information panels at over 500 to enhance the visitor experience. Smartphone users will also be able to access additional information, including the personal stories of some of those buried at the site.

2. Case studies illustrating the type of records being made available are available on request.