Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

20/3/2006

Commonwealth War Graves commission

A recent post on soc.genealogy.britain lead me to the website of the commonwealth war graves commission
The Commission was established by Royal Charter in 1917. Its duties are to mark and maintain the graves of the members of the forces of the Commonwealth who were killed in the two World Wars, to build memorials to those who have no known grave and to keep records and registers, including, after the Second World War, a record of the Civilian War Dead.

It was the energy of Sir Fabian Ware, the Commission’s founder, which established the principles upon which the work of the Commission was built. Those principles, which have remained unaltered, were:

The Thiepval Memorial, France each of the dead should be commemorated individually by name on headstone or memorial;
headstones and memorials should be permanent;
headstones should be uniform;
there should be no distinction made on account of military or civil rank, race or creed.

1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces died in the two World Wars. Of these the remains of 925,000 were found and their graves are marked by a headstone. Where the remains were not found, the casualty’s name is commemorated on a memorial. There are war graves in some 150 different countries; mostly in the 2,500 war cemeteries and plots constructed by the Commission.

This absolutely fantastic and free site allows the search of the Commissions “Debt of Honour Register” is the Commission’s database listing the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars and the 23,000 cemeteries, memorials and other locations world-wide where they are commemorated. The register can also be searched for details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action in the Second World War.

You can search by surname, initials, Service, year of death and Nationality and the records carry a wealth of information including Surname, Rank, Service, Date of Death, Age ,Regiment, Nationality, Grave/Memorial Ref., Cemetery/Memorial Name .

This is possibly the best resource for anyone who lost someone during the two world wars and is extremely well recommended for your genealogy research

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