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The Commonwealth War Graves Commission launches the 'Thiepval App' ahead of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme

06 June 2016

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has today launched its free CWGC 'Thiepval App' making it easier than ever before to locate a soldier's name on the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

The monument at Thiepval bears the names of over 72,000 men whose bodies were never recovered after the Battle of the Somme in 1916. As well as enabling visitors to locate individual soldiers on the many stone panels, the app reveals some of the stories behind the names.

Carl Liversage, Head of External Engagement for the CWGC in Western Europe said "As we prepare to commemorate the centenary of The Battle of The Somme this new app allows you to search for all the casualties we commemorate on the Thiepval Memorial. Not only will you be able to view a detailed plan of the memorial but you can pin point a name on the panel, read personal stories and discover interesting facts."

Today, the cemeteries and memorials built and cared for by the CWGC portray the human cost of the battle, and of the fighting that took place across the Somme battlefields throughout the war.

Some 150,000 Commonwealth servicemen lie buried in 250 military and 150 civilian cemeteries on the Somme.

More than 100,000 were never found or identified. They are not forgotten, but are remembered by name on six memorials to those with no known grave.


1. The Thiepval APP

The app, which can be downloaded for free on IOS and Android allows users to:

  • Easily locate a soldier's name on the memorial
  • Read more than 900 personal stories which will bring you closer to the person behind the soldier;  written and kindly provided  by Pam and Ken Linge
  • Explore some of the interesting facts by theme such as VC holders, poets, sportsmen, etc
  • Read historical background information on the battles of the Somme and the 141 days
  • View a Timeline where you can see the number of casualties per year, month and day
  • Once downloaded the app doesn't require an internet connection
  • Also available for iPad


Android -app -store App -StoreThiepval App Phone


For more information contact:

Nelly Poignonnec

+33 (0)321 21 79 92 or +33 (0) 06 07 16 51 22

Notes for editors:

2. The Thiepval Memorial - the Memorial to the Missing - is the largest Commonwealth war memorial in the world. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled in 1932, the memorial bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery sited behind the memorial contains equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves in recognition of the close bonds between Great Britain and France.

3. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) maintains the graves of the 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died during the two world wars. It also holds and updates and extensive and accessible records archive. The CWGC operates in over 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries.