We honour and care for the men and women of the Commonwealth who died in the First and Second World Wars, ensuring they will never be forgotten. Funded by six Member Governments, our work began more than a century ago building cemeteries at 23,000 locations all over the world.
Today, over a century after we first began, our work continues through our staff, supporters and volunteers who preserve our unique cultural, horticultural and architectural heritage and ensure that the stories of those who died are told.
Since our establishment, we have constructed 2,500 war cemeteries and plots, and we have erected headstones over more than a million burials at military and civil sites across the world. For individuals who have no known grave, we have built memorials to the missing as places of commemoration. Despite this enormous global effort, largely completed in the aftermath of the two world wars, this work continues today as we alter or construct new sites where we find our job is not yet complete.
The founders of the IWGC were determined that all the men and women of the British Empire who fell on the former battlefields of the First World War, on land and at sea, should be commemorated equally. The CWGC takes great pride in the principles that drove this work, which said that the organisation would not differentiate between the dead on the grounds of social or military rank, or by religion.
This commitment to equality was delivered across the principal battlefields of Europe but we now know this had geographical limits. For many and varied reasons, in other theatres of war, some casualties were treated differently. As well as maintaining in perpetuity the sites we built in the aftermath of the two world wars, the CWGC continues to research gaps in its commemorations so they can be put right. We work to ensure all the war dead of the Commonwealth, wherever they came from and wherever they fell, are remembered as we promised when we were established.