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. Here are some of the people we commemorate.
Australia – Major Oliver Hogue
Sydney-born Oliver fought on Gallipoli, before serving in Egypt and Palestine with the Imperial Camel Corps. By 1918 he commanded a squadron of the 14th Light Horse Regiment in Damascus. Having survived these deadly campaigns, he succumbed to influenza whilst on leave in the UK after hostilities had ended.
Canada – Nursing Sister Sarah Ellen Garbutt
A nurse at the Royal Memorial Hospital in Ontario, Sarah volunteered for the Canadian Army Nursing Service in 1917. She was posted to the UK, but only a month later was sadly diagnosed with abdominal cancer and died in Vincent Square Hospital, London.
India – Leading Aircraftman Yousif Ali
Born in Sylhet (now part of Bangladesh), Yousif moved to England in the 1920s. At the outbreak of the Second World War he enlisted in the RAF Volunteer Reserve. While serving in Europe after the war he fell ill and was brought back to England, where he died at the RAF Halton Military Hospital.
New Zealand - Flying Officer Tohunga Richard Riwai
In 1942 father-of-three Richard enlisted in the Royal New Zealand Air Force and was posted to RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex. His squadron specialised in night fighting and he flew De Havilland Mosquitoes, known as ‘wooden wonders’. He was tragically killed during a night-time interception patrol in 1944.
South Africa - Pilot Officer George Drake
Rejected by the South African Air Force, George travelled to England and joined the RAF in 1939. During the Battle of Britain he was shot down by a German Messerschmitt and it was not until 1972 that his remains were discovered in Kent. His funeral at Brookwood was attended by his surviving brothers.
UK - Ensign Violette Szabo
War widow Violette was recruited to the Special Operations Executive and twice undertook dangerous missions in France. She was captured and tortured before being sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she was eventually executed. Violette’s bravery posthumously earned her the George Cross.