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The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) today expressed its delight at the decision of the UNESCO World Heritage Council in Riyadh to inscribe 51 Commonwealth war cemeteries and memorials with World Heritage Status.

Thiepval Memorial beside trees

The inscription is part of a wider initiative to inscribe Funeral & Memorial Sites of The First World War (Western Front) with UNESCO World Heritage Status.

The proposal was sponsored by the Belgian (Flanders and Wallonia) and French states, and in total includes 139 locations connected with WW1.

Director General of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Claire Horton CBE, said: “We are thrilled that a significant number of our iconic cemeteries and memorials along the former Western Front have been awarded World Heritage Status.

“In recognising the Outstanding Universal Value of these places of memory – places that commemorate the sacrifice of those of many nations, faiths, and ethnicities – the proposal acknowledges CWGC’s century plus stewardship of all the cemeteries and memorials to a standard of excellence. World Heritage Status also recognises the global importance of these Silent Cities to ongoing commemoration of the war dead and brings with it significant and tangible benefits – not least the opportunity to engage wider and more diverse audiences.

“We are grateful to both the Belgian and French delegations for their sponsorship of the proposal and for their consultation and engagement with us throughout the process, and we look forward to working with all our partners to give “those silent witnesses to the desolation of war” the voice they deserve.”

The full list of sites inscribed are:
1st D.C.L.I. Cemetery, The Bluff French National Necropolis of La Fontenelle Louverval Military Cemetery & Cambrai Memorial
Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and   Memorial French National Necropolis of La Forestière Menin Gate Memorial
Apremont German War Cemetery French National Necropolis of La Harazée Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial
Australian National Memorial   Villers-Bretonneux Memorial & Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery French National Necropolis of Lagarde Military cemetery & Russian chapel of Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand
Bayonet trench French National Necropolis of Le Sourd & German Military Cemetery of   Le Sourd Military squares of Robermont
Beaumont Hamel (Newfoundland) Memorial   & 29th Division Memorial, Commonwealth Memorial Park Beaumont Hamel   (Newfoundland) Memorial Park & Hunter's Cemetery French National Necropolis of Les Tiges Mill Road Cemetery
Bedford House Cemetery French National Necropolis of Maize Monument irlandais Island of Ireland Peace Tower
Belgian Military Cemetery in Oeren French National Necropolis of Moosch Monument national canadien The Brooding Soldier
Belgian Military Cemetery of   Houthulst French National Necropolis of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Mud Corner Cemetery
Berks Cemetery Extension and Ploegsteert   Memorial to the Missing French National Necropolis of Pierrepont Neuville-Saint-Vaast Czechoslovak War Cemetery
Braine Danish Military Cemetery French National Necropolis of Prisoners of Effry Nieuport Memorial
Buff's Road Cemetery French National Necropolis of Riche No Man's Cot Cemetery
Buttes New British Cemetery French National Necropolis of Saint-Thomas en Argonne and French National   Necropolis of the Gruerie Ossuary Monument Noyelles-sur-mer Chinese Cemetery & Chinese Memorial
Canadian Cemetery No. 2 French National Necropolis of Silberloch, French National Monument &   Hartmannswillerkopf Crypt Orée de la Forêt French Military Cemetery
Canadian National Vimy Memorial French National Necropolis of the 28th Brigade La ferme des Wacques Pierrepont German War Cemetery
Chestres German Military Cemetery and   Chestres French National Necropolis French National Necropolis of the Foreign Legion Monument-Ossuary (Henri   Fansworth) Plateau French Military Cemetery
Cimetière militaire du Commonwealth Larch   Wood Cemetery French National Necropolis of the Opera Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery
Neuve-Chapelle Memorial French National Necropolis of the Targette & La Targette British   Cemetery Polygon Wood Cemetery
Consenvoye German Military Cemetery French National Necropolis of the Trottoir Portuguese Military Cemetery of Richebourg-l'Avoué
Crypt of the Yser Tower French National Necropolis of Thiescourt & Thiescourt German Military   Cemetery Pozières British Cemetery & Pozières Memorial
Dud Corner Cemetery and Loos   Memorial French National Necropolis of Wettstein Prowse Point Military Cemetery
Enclosure of the executed in Tamines French National Necropolis, German Military Cemetery & Polish   Military Cemetery of Bois du Puits Rancourt German War Cemetery
Essex farm cemetery French National Prisoner-of-War Cemetery in Sarrebourg Rancourt Military Cemetery
Etaples Military Cemetery French ossuary monument of Haute-Chevauchée Rifle House Cemetery
Faubourg D'Amiens Cemetery, Arras   Memorial and Arras Flying Services Memorial French Ossuary of Mount Kemmel Romanian Military Cemetery in Soultzmatt
Fort du Loncin French Ossuary of Navarin: monument to the dead of the Armies of   Champagne Saint-Quentin German War Cemetery & Saint-Quentin Franco-German   Monument
Fort of Douaumont French ossuary, French national necropolis, Israelite monument and Muslim   monument of Douaumont Saint-Symphorien German and Commonwealth Military Cemetery
Franco-German military cemetery of Radan French square of civilian victims of Gerbeviller Set of stelae and ancient German and French individual tombs of Petit   Donon
French communal cemetery & French   chapel of Mondement-Montgivroux French stele of the executed of Fleury-devant-Douaumont Solesmes Road German Military Cemetery & Cambrai East Military   Cemetery
French Memorial Ghosts Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery South Africa (Delville Wood) National Memorial and Delville Wood Cemetery
French Memorial of the Battles of the   Marne German monument in St. Charles Cemetery Spanbroekmolen British Cemetery
French Military Cemetery Germania Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial
French Military Cemetery Saint-Charles de   Potyze Gobessart German War Cemetery Strand Military Cemetery
French military square of the dead of 11   November 1918 of Vrigne-Meuse Hedge Row Trench Cemetery Thiepval Memorial & Thiepval Anglo-French Cemetery
French National Necropolis & French   Memorial Chapel of Rancourt Hellenwald German War Cemetery Toronto Avenue Cemetery
French National Necropolis & German   Military Cemetery of Crouée Hohrod-Bärenstall German War Cemetery Track X Cemetery
French National Necropolis Duchesne Hyde Park Corner Cemetery Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial
French National Necropolis La Grande   Tombe de Villeroy Italian Military Cemetery de Bligny Uhlans German Military Cemetery
French National Necropolis of Assevent   & German Military Cemetery of Assevent Kahm German War Cemetery V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial
French National Necropolis of   Cerny-en-Laonnois, German Military Cemetery of Cerny-en-Laonnois and Memorial   Chapel of the Chemin des Dames La Belle Motte French Military Cemetery Veslud German War Cemetery
French National Necropolis of Chambière Lagarde German War Cemetery Vladslo German War Cemetery
French National Necropolis of Compiègne   (Royallieu) Langemark German War Cemetery Welsh Cemetery (Caesar's Nose)
French National Necropolis of Craonnelle Le Quesnoy communal Cemetery extension White House German Military Cemetery
French National Necropolis of Cuts Lichfield Crater Wimereux communal cemetery
French National Necropolis of Faubourg   Pavé Lijssenthoek military cemetery Woods Cemetery
French National Necropolis of Hope Lone Tree Cemetery  
French National Necropolis of La Chipotte Louvencourt Military Cemetery