29 December 2017
New challenges and the broader work of the CWGC
The Commission’s Africa and Asia Pacific Area Director Richard Hills reflects on the challenges faced by cemeteries in the area and projects completed during the year.
On a misty morning in March 1918 a small group of soldiers faced being overwhelmed. Their task was to hold out for as long as they could. There was no chance of relief or rescue. They were led by a school teacher, Lieutenant Colonel Wilfrith Elstob, whose example would inspire them to fight to the bitter end. “The Manchester Regiment will defend Manchester Hill to the last” - was Elstob’s final communication on 21 March 1918.
In the 16 days of Operation Michael, the German and British armies both suffered terrible losses. The Commission commemorates almost 37,000 service personnel who died in France during the attack. More than 23,000 have no known grave and are commemorated on CWGC memorials to the missing.