19 December 2017

12 months of CWGC: Review of the year

2017 was a big year for the Commission as it marked its centenary, and the 100th anniversary of a number of significant First World War battles. Here we take a look back at the highlights of the first six months of the year.


The year started off with the launch of three exciting projects. The Commission was chosen as the official Charity Partner by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and together we launched Rugby Remembers.

Other highlights: 

  • It was announced 4,000 descendants of those who fought at the Third Battle of Ypres will attend commemorations marking its centenary.


The first centennial service of the year took place to pay tribute to those lost when the SS Mendi sank on 21 February 1917.

Other highlights:


Relatives of four South African Air Force airmen lost when their plane crashed on Mount Kenya during the Second World War attended a special ceremony in their memory.




Thousands attended commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Arras and Vimy Ridge at CWGC cemeteries and memorials across northern France.

Other highlights: 

  • The famous Menin Gate stone lions resumed guard at their former home in Ieper for the year’s centenary commemorations.


A number of events and projects marked the centenary of the Commission’s foundation in 1917, including a special service at Westminster Abbey, an exhibition at Brookwood Military Cemetery, and an award-winning garden at Chelsea Flower Show.

Other highlights: 

  • CWGC along with veterans’ charity Glen Art, and the Wilfred Owen Association was awarded the people's choice award and a silver medal at this year’s Gardening Scotland.


The Commission hosted the Duke of Cambridge at several commemorative services in Belgium marking 100 years since the Battle of Messines Ridge.

Other highlights:

  • Nearly €4m was given to the Commission for restoration work at military cemeteries in Belgium.
  • The CWGC Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme was awarded Best Heritage Park at the Horticulture Week Custodian Awards.

Latest News

Visitors are invited to attend a special ceremony at Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol, to mark the completion of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) restoration work to preserve grave markers and memorials to the war dead.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is seeking to reunite the family of a First World War naval veteran with his medal after it was left at CWGC’s Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium.

The 100th anniversary of one of the lesser known events of the First World War will be commemorated this weekend (25 November) at a CWGC memorial in Mbala, Zambia.