07 November 2017

Poignant live performances launch new war graves foundation

A live performance of Fallen Soldier – a song written by acclaimed author, Frederick Forsyth CBE as a lament for soldiers who did not return from the battlefield – opened the launch event for the Commission’s new charity the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF).

Performed by Royal Opera House Soprano, Melissa Alder, the song was written and recorded to speak to those remembering the Fallen Soldier, with all proceeds to go to the Foundation.


The moving performance followed the sounding of a service whistle, last used by a young officer on the battlefields of the Somme a century ago.

The launch event at CWGC Tower Hill Memorial in London was attended by Foundation ambassadors Lewis Moody, ex-England rugby captain, and top crime author Martina Cole. Lewis Moody’s great-grandfather and namesake, Lewis W. Moody, fought with the Royal Sussex Regiment during the First World War, and Martina Cole’s father was a merchant seaman in the Royal in the Second World War, and was fortunate to have returned home.

During the event, actors also took to the stage for a poignant one-off live performance, illustrating how the memories of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice could fade if action isn’t taken.


The Hon Ros Kelly, Chair of the new Foundation, followed on stage to explain the mission of the Foundation, while CWGC Vice Chairman Sir Tim Laurence spoke about how the Foundation will work alongside the Commission.

He said: “The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation will help communities collect, spread and honour the stories of the men and women the CWGC commemorates and ensure that we remember those who gave their today for all our tomorrows.”

The Foundation is the brainchild of the CWGC. It will take the work of the Commission to a much wider audience by offering hands-on opportunities to get involved in various projects – including the new Internship. Education, outreach and events will help bridge the generational gap, bring the past to life and create communities of engaged people who will help keep the stories, and the memory of those who gave their lives, alive for generations to come.

The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF) is a charitable foundation that highlights the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) by telling the stories of the 1.7m people the CWGC commemorates.

The Foundation engages young people and the wider community around the UK interested in the story of our common sacrifice and shared history.

By supporting the Foundation you will enable it to fund education and activities which will capture the public imagination, and highlight the work the CWGC does.

Together we keep their stories alive.