03 October 2017

War graves gardener takes silver at Invictus Games

CWGC gardener Wayne Harrod has returned home with a silver medal after competing in this year’s Invictus Games.

 

Harry (as he likes to be known) represented Great Britain in cycling competitions at the games in Toronto, Canada, last week.

He took silver in the Men’s Road Cycling IRB2 Time Trial Final on Tuesday and sixth place in the Men’s Road Cycling IRB2 Criterium Final on Wednesday – crossing the finish line just one second behind Australia who won the silver medal.

Speaking about his success, Harry said: “Being part of Team GB and racing for my country against fellow injured competitors from around the globe, has inspired me to push my limits further.

“Winning and receiving my silver medal made all my hard work this year worthwhile, and I am very proud of what I achieved. I’m now looking at the next adventure.”

A former Colour Sergeant in the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, Harry had a leg amputated in 2004 after he was hit by a 10 ½ ton Spartan tracked reconnaissance vehicle. He stayed in the army until 2011 before joining the CWGC via the Poppy Factory’s mentoring programme in 2012. The programme enabled Harry to work with the CWGC while studying for his horticultural diplomas from the RHS. He’s now responsible for more than 1,000 war graves at Cambridge.

Harry initially got into cycling to keep fit and ease the cost on commuting, but as the months went by he started to do more and more miles. He has taken part in a number of marathon cycling events – raising funds for The Poppy Factory and Blesma – the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association.

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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.

The 75th anniversary of one of the most significant battles of the Second World War will be marked at a ceremony in the CWGC’s El Alamein Cemetery and Memorial in Egypt on Saturday 21 October. The commemoration will be the largest for many years and, as the 75th, is likely to be the last on this scale. Ahead of Saturday's ceremony, here is more about the battle and the Commission’s work in North Africa.