28 April 2017

Public ballot for CWGC service at Westminster Abbey

The CWGC is inviting members of the public to attend a very special Service of Thanksgiving celebrating the centenary of our unique organisation.

A limited number of tickets will be made available via a public ballot for the service at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 23 May 2017.

The Thanksgiving Service is designed to be non-denominational, reflecting the cultures of the CWGC’s six partner nations, and all of the countries where it operates.

It will involve a band and an orchestra, the Westminster Abbey choir, a Maori choir, floral display, readings and hymns, as well as the dedication of a the new volume of the Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour 1939 – 1945.

Anyone wishing to apply for a pair of tickets can do so by emailing their name and address to AbbeyTicketsBallot@cwgc.org using the subject line PUBLIC BALLOT.

One entry per email, per pair of tickets. For terms and conditions, see below.

On the day, doors will open at 10.30am, with the service commencing at noon and concluding at 1pm.

The closing date for the ballot is 10am on 9 May 2017. Successful entrants will be notified first by email and will then receive a letter with their tickets.


Terms and Conditions for Westminster Abbey Service Public Ballot

  • Prize: Winning applicants will receive a pair of tickets permitting attendance at a service of thanksgiving to celebrate the Centenary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

  • Service to be held on Tuesday 23 May 2017 at 12.00 in Westminster Abbey, London. Doors open at 10.30. All attendees must be seated by 11.30. Service concludes at 13.00.

  • All guests must be aged 18+

  • Admittance to the service is strictly for named ticket holders only. Full contact details of guests must be provided at time of entering the ballot.

  • One entry per household only.

  • All guests must provide photo identification on entry to the Abbey. Valid passport or driving licence accepted as proof of identification.

  • No baggage, videos or cameras are allowed in the Abbey. There may be airport security-style screening for all guests so please allow adequate time for this at the entrance to the Abbey.

  • Dress code: Formal - Suits or day dress/trouser suit for ladies.

  • Successful applicants are solely responsible for all transport to and from the service.

  • Ballot will be drawn at random at 10.00 on 9 May 2017. Winning applicants will be informed by email and tickets sent to address provided in advance of the service. A letter with administrative points will be included with the tickets.

  • CWGC will not be liable for any loss in the event the service is cancelled or delayed.

  • Disabled access: Please note there is extremely limited disabled parking at the venue.

  • Tickets have no monetary value and are non-transferable.

  • CWGC reserves the right to refuse entry at its sole discretion.

  • CWGC decision on any matter relating to the ballot is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

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In this video Edward Toms, now 96-years-old, who was badly wounded in the battle but returned in 1954 to take part in the opening ceremony for the El Alamein Cemetery and Memorial, speaks about the horrors he witnessed and the work of the Commission.

20 October 2017

Casualties of El Alamein

Troops from many nations fought side by side in the deserts of North Africa at the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. Ahead of tomorrow’s commemoration at El Alamein War Cemetery marking the 75th anniversary of the battle, here are the stories of some of those who lost their lives.

Colour footage of the building of El Alamein Memorial has recently been discovered in the CWGC archive. The footage is now part of a display about the Commission’s work in Egypt at the El Alamein Museum, which has undergone a complete renovation to mark the battle’s 75th anniversary, thanks to a collaborative effort between many nations, with the encouragement of President Sisi. Here is a sneak peek of the footage.