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02 July 2013

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is holding an Open Day at the UK's largest Commonwealth war cemetery - Brookwood Military Cemetery, near Woking in Surrey - on Saturday 13 July 2013.

Peter Francis, a spokesperson for the Commission, said: "The Open Day is an opportunity for the public to see how the Commonwealth War Graves Commission ensures that the 8,500 servicemen and women buried and commemorated in the UK's largest Commonwealth war cemetery will never be forgotten."

The Open Day will be held on Saturday 13 July 2013, from 10am to 4pm. Gates open at 9.30am and entry is free.

Activities include guided tours; practical demonstrations of maintenance work and gardening; cemetery renovation in action; demonstrations of records searches on the Commission's casualty database; and talks.

For more details please contact: Peter Francis on 01628 507163 or 07766 255884 or by email


Notes for editors:

1. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (

  • The Commission maintains the graves and memorials 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.
  • The Commission operates in over 23,000 locations in 153 countries across all continents except for Antarctica.
  • 14-18: A series of 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 Commission will ensure that these sites are maintained at the highest standard and is installing information panels at over 500 sites 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.
  • The Commission provides teachers and youth workers with a comprehensive range of educational resources and support materials so that future generations remain engaged in the work of the Commission and continue to remember those who died in the two world wars.


2. Brookwood Military Cemetery was established during the First World War. The men and women buried there had died in hospitals in the London area of wounds or sickness or training accidents. The cemetery was extended during the Second World war. It now contains more than 5,000 Commonwealth burials, as well as an American cemetery and burial plots for several other nationalities. The cemetery also contains the Brookwood
Memorial, which commemorates  3,500 Commonwealth servicemen and women of the Second World War who have no known grave.