From the outset, the Commission was determined to employ the very best architects of their day to design the cemeteries and memorials. In 1918, three principal architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Sir Reginald Blomfield and Sir Herbert Baker, were appointed.

Assistant architects were also employed. Many of the assistant architects had served with the British forces during the war including William Harrison Cowlishaw, Noel Ackroyd Rew and W C von Berg.

After the Second World War, further cemeteries and memorials were needed, often in countries where the Commission had not worked before. The Commissioners were determined to maintain the high standards set in the aftermath of the First World War and engaged Sir Hubert Worthington, Philip Hepworth and Sir Edward Maufe to guide the building programmes.

Architect Biographies

Sir Herbert Baker

Sir Herbert Baker

Sir Herbert Baker was born in 1862. As one of the first three Principal Architects, he designed Tyne Cot Cemetery and its memorial in Belgium. Tyne Cot Cemetery is the largest CWGC cemetery in the world. His other work for the Commission includes Loos Memorial, Adanac Military Cemetery and Neuve Chapelle Memorial. He also worked in India and South Africa, where he designed a number of government buildings.

William Bryce Binnie

The Scottish architect was born in 1886. He received a Military Cross for his service in the Army in the First World War. Binnie was appointed Assistant Architect to the Imperial War Graves Commission in 1919, working in France and Belgium. He designed the Memorial to the Missing at Nieuport, Belgium, with sculpture by Charles Sargeant Jagger.

Sir Reginald Blomfield

Sir Reginald Blomfield

Sir Reginald Blomfield was born in 1856. One of the first three architects commissioned to design the cemeteries and memorials, he was appointed Principal Architect for France in 1918. Considered the most conventionally patriotic of the Commission's architects, Blomfield designed Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium, one of the most well-known war memorials.

Harold Chalton Bradshaw

The British architect was born in 1893. His work includes several First World War cemeteries and memorials including the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing in France and the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing and its cemetery in Belgium.

H J Brown

The architect was born in 1903. He designed cemeteries and memorials for the Commission in India and Pakistan including Rangoon Memorial, Delhi, Karachi, Kirkee, Madras and Taukkyan cemeteries. He became an associate member of The Royal Institute of British Architects in 1928.

Sir John Burnet

Sir John Burnet

The Scottish architect was born in 1857. He was appointed Principal Architect for Palestine and Gallipoli. He designed cemeteries and memorials at Cape Helles, Lone Pine and Twelve Tree Copse, Gallipoli. He also designed the Jerusalem War Cemetery and its memorial chapel.

William Harrison Cowlishaw

The British architect was born in 1870. He was involved with the Arts and Crafts movement and also a calligrapher. He designed Pozières Memorial, Prowse Point, Rifle House and Devonshire cemeteries. He served in the London Ambulance Brigade of the Red Cross where he met the architect Charles Holden.

Louis de Soissons

The architect was born in Canada in 1890 and moved with his family to London as a child. His son Philip was killed at the age of 17 while serving aboard HMS Fiji, which was sunk by German bombers off the coast of Crete on 22 May 1941. He was the Commission’s Chief Architect for Second World War cemeteries and memorials in Italy, Greece and Australia. He designed nearly 50 cemeteries including Suda Bay War Cemetery in Crete.

Barry Edwards

As an architect for the Commission, he designed Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, the first new CWGC cemetery for more than 50 years. It was unveiled in 2010 and contains the graves of 250 Australian and British servicemen who had lost their lives in the Battles of Fromelles in July 1916. He also designed the Brookwood 1914-1918 Memorial at Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey.

George Hartley Goldsmith

The architect was born in 1886. He was the Assistant Draughtsman to Sir Edwin Lutyens from 1907 to 1910 and was appointed Assistant Architect in 1919. He designed 67 cemeteries including the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery in France. He also designed the La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial in France.

Philip Hepworth

The British architect was born in 1890. He was appointed the Principal Architect for North West Europe by the Imperial War Graves Commission during the Second World War. His works are found in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany including Bayeux Memorial (1955) and Dunkirk Memorial (1957).

Sir Frank Higginson

The architect was born in 1890. He was appointed Assistant Architect by the Imperial War Graves Commission and later acted as Secretary to the Commission. He designed Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in Souchez, France. He was also a Captain in the Canadian Army from 1914 to 1918.

Charles Holden

The British architect was born in 1875. He was appointed Principal Architect for France and designed 67 cemeteries including Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Poelcapelle British Cemetery and Polygon Wood Cemetery. Holden is also known for his London Underground designs created in the years between the wars.

Arthur James Scott Hutton

The Scottish architect was born in 1891. He was appointed Assistant Architect in France, Belgium and Germany, working under Sir Herbert Baker, Sir Reginald Blomfield and Sir Edwin Lutyens. He designed 67 cemeteries including Marzargues Indian Cemetery, Longueval, Fricourt and the Memorial at Arques-la-Bataille British Cemetery. 

George Esselmont Gordon Leith

The architect was born in 1885 in South Africa. He worked for Sir Herbert Baker in South Africa and designed cemeteries including Terlincthun British Cemetery and Calais Southern Cemetery under Baker.

Placeholder

Sir Robert Lorimer

The Scottish architect was born in 1864. He was appointed by the Imperial War Graves Commission as Principal Architect for Italy, Macedonia and Egypt. He designed the Memorial to the Missing at Lake Doiran in Greece. Lorimer was also tasked with designing three identical monuments of 'unmistakable naval form'.

Edwin Lutynes

Sir Edwin Lutyens

The distinguished British architect was born in 1869. He was commissioned by the Imperial War Graves Commission to design many of the cemeteries and memorials of the First World War. Many consider his work for the Commission his greatest. It was Lutyens, along with Sir Reginald Blomfield and Sir Herbert Baker, who first went to visit the temporary burial places in Northern France and Belgium to decide how to proceed with the design of the cemeteries.

​Sir Edward Maufe

Sir Edward Maufe

The British architect was born in 1882. He was the Commission’s Principal Architect for the United Kingdom after the Second World War. He designed the Air Forces Memorial at Cooper's Hill overlooking Runnymede in Surrey (also known as Runnymede Memorial) and the extensions to Tower Hill Memorial and the naval memorials at Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham.

Colin St Clair Oakes

​The architect designed cemeteries and memorials in Asia including Kranji War Cemetery and Singapore Memorial (also known as Kranji War Memorial) in Singapore and Sai Wan War Cemetery and Memorial in Hong Kong. He became an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1931.

Verner O Rees

​Born in 1886, Rees was Assistant Architect to Sir Edwin Lutyens from 1910 to 1912. He designed the Memorial to the Missing at Soissons (1925) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He also served in the Artist's Rifles during the war.

Noel Ackroyd Rew

​The British architect was born in 1880. He was appointed Assistant Architect for the Imperial War Graves Commission in 1919, recommended by Sir Reginald Blomfield. He designed more than 42 cemeteries including Bailleul Road and Serre Road.

John Reginald Truelove

​The British architect was born in 1886. A former captain in the London Regiment, he was appointed Assistant Architect to the Commission in 1919. He designed several cemeteries including Noyelles-sur-mer Chinese Cemetery and Arques-la-Bataille British Cemetery.

W C von Berg

​The British architect was born in 1894. He was appointed Assistant Architect to the Commission in 1919 and worked with Sir Reginald Blomfield, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Charles Holden. He designed more than 39 cemeteries including Bedford House Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium and Sains-Les-Marquion British Cemetery in France.

Edward Warren

​The British architect and archaeologist was born in 1856. He was appointed Principal Architect for Mesopotamia in 1919, a difficult position in such a remote and inhospitable region. He designed the Memorial to the Missing in Basra and the Tomb of General Maude in Baghdad.

Sir Hubert Worthington

​The British architect was born in 1886. He was appointed by the Imperial War Graves Commission as Principal Architect for Egypt and North Africa. His work required accepting the special demands of the terrain and climate of the regions. He designed El Alamein War Cemetery which contains more than 7,000 graves and Heliopolis War Cemetery.