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HRH The Duke of Kent Inaugurates CWGC Museum

11 December 2013

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), will inaugurate a new museum at the CWGC's newly refurbished Headquarters in Maidenhead on 11 December 2013.

The museum details the origins and work of CWGC,  and aims to encourage members of the public to learn more about the organisation's role in commemorating the 1.7 million Commonwealth war dead of two world wars.  It contains a number of unique artefacts from the Commission's history, which are publicly available for the first time. This includes a passport issued to King George V in 1922 for his pilgrimage to the war cemeteries and a sign from the very first war cemetery at Forceville in France.

His Royal Highness will also meet with the organisation's staff and be briefed on its activities ahead of the Centenary of the First World War in 2014.  He will be accompanied by the Commission's Vice Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Sir Joe French, Director General, Alan Pateman-Jones,  James Puxley, Vice Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire, and Councillor Andrew Jenner and Mrs Julia Jenner, Mayor and Mayoress of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

His Royal Highness said: "For more than forty years, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has been home to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which operates in 153 countries worldwide.

"The Commission is proud of its links with Maidenhead and we are grateful for the good relations we continue to enjoy with our partners in the Royal Borough today.

"Our efforts to commemorate the fallen of two world wars will come into sharp focus during the forthcoming Centenary of the First World War - a conflict which brought the Commission into being - and the upcoming anniversaries of the Second World War.

"It is my sincere hope that ever growing numbers of the public will come to know the Commission over this period, visit this new facility and value the work that it does."

CWGC's Director General,  Alan Pateman-Jones, said: "We are delighted to welcome our President, HRH The Duke of Kent, back to Maidenhead to inaugurate our museum and see our newly refurbished Headquarters.

"Completed earlier this year, the refurbishment has created an open-plan and airy environment, better equipped to meet the needs of our staff and be more welcoming to visitors. "

Click here to read the full Media Release