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Press Conference

CWGC Announces Nationwide Initiative to Raise Awareness of War Graves in the UK

05 November 2013

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, together with the All Party Parliamentary War Heritage Group and supported by the In From The Cold Project, has completed a major project to map the commemorations of more than 300,000 Commonwealth war dead to every parliamentary constituency in the UK, and to make these details available to Members of Parliament, community groups and schools.

The initiative is intended to raise awareness of the war graves here in the UK, and presents a unique opportunity for Members of Parliament, local communities and schools, to work with the Commission during the Centenary of the First World War.

As part of the initiative, the Commission is planning a nationwide, volunteer outreach programme aimed at providing educators with a comprehensive range of resources and support materials linked to the graves and in their hometowns.

The Commission's Director Finance and 14-18 Centenary, Colin Kerr, explained, "The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's work overseas is well known, but here in the United Kingdom there is little awareness of the graves to be found in a staggering 13,000 locations, that commemorate over 300,000 Commonwealth dead of the two world wars. We believe that is not right and through this initiative intend to do more to help communities, and particularly younger generations, understand the significance of these graves and the sacrifices made. In so doing, it is our hope that they incorporate these places into their learning and commemorative activities and gain a fuller understanding of the war's impact and the on-going importance of remembrance."

Lord Faulkner of Worcester, Chairman All Party Parliamentary War Heritage Group added, "We in the War Heritage APPG congratulate the CWGC on this initiative and are pleased to be associated with it.  This is the first time that war graves in the UK have been identified directly by constituencies and we hope that parliamentarians everywhere will find this information helpful as they plan educational and other programmes to commemorate the centenary of the Great War."

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