Who is considered a war casualty and commemorated on a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) memorial?
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), founded in 1917, commemorates 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died in the two world wars. More than 935,000 identified casualties and almost 212,000 unidentified individuals are buried in graves marked with a CWGC headstone. The names of almost 760,000 people whose bodies have never been recovered or cannot be identified can be found on the official Memorials to the Missing.
More than 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action during the Second World War are listed on a roll of honour, housed near St George’s Chapel in Westminster Abbey, London.
As the official record, the definition under which the Commission works has to be precise: CWGC memorials bear the names of servicemen and women who died during the designated war years in service or of causes attributable to service and have no known grave or were buried or lost at sea. For the First World War the dates are 4 August 1914 to 31 August 1921 and the Second World War, 3 September 1939 to 31 December 1947.
How can I find out which Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) memorial someone is commemorated on?
The Victoria Cross paving stones campaign is a UK wide initiative by the Department for Communities and Local Government for the First World War Centenary. A commemorative paving stone engraved with the Victoria Cross will be placed close to the birth place of all those individuals who were born in the UK who were conferred with the nation’s highest award for gallantry during the First World War. Those born outside the UK will be recognised either in a suitable UK location or in their home country. The stones are not considered to be war memorials.