The findings of the committee do not diminish the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's past achievements – of which we should be justly proud. However, we apologise unreservedly for the historical wrongs found in this report and for failing to live up to founding principle, of "equality of treatment in death".
The failure to stand firm and practice the ideals of equality of treatment for all in Africa and elsewhere in the 1920s and the 1930s was wrong then and is wrong now, and we intend to act immediately.
The special report makes 10 detailed and far-reaching recommendations, which we accept and embrace in full.
We have already started to implement the recommendations, and this will build on work already started some years ago and still in train today.
All the recommendations are equally as important, and our priorities include:
- Continuing the search for names
- Adding newly found names to our records
- A more flexible approach to commemoration criteria
- Adding explanations and contextual information at relevant sites
- Setting up an external expert advisory panel
- Improving our transparency online
A cornerstone of everything that we do will be the active involvement of, and engagement with, the local communities affected, to ensure whatever we do is of value to them and in-keeping with what they want.