As the Commission enters its second century, one thing has remained constant – the devotion to caring for the cemeteries and memorials established after the First and Second World Wars to commemorate the 1.7 million Commonwealth dead. Our challenge, a century on, is finding a balance between maintaining these places, so that they fulfil the function they were designed for, and understanding, maintaining and preserving the wider significance they have.
FIRST WORLD WAR HEADSTONE BADGES
Following the end of the First World War the then Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission began the task of marking and caring for the graves of those who died.
One of the biggest challenges facing the newly created organisation was the manufacture of more than 500,000 headstones. The vast majority of these were made by hand, under contract to stonemasons across the United Kingdom.
In recent years it has come to light that a number of mistakes were made in the carving of cap badges. In some cases the badges used are incorrect – for example RAF instead of RFC.
These “heritage errors” will be corrected on an opportunity basis as and when the headstone needs to be replaced.