Search results for CWGC.

27 September 1915 : Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, 8th Black Watch


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has changed the commemoration for Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, an uncle of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Fergus died in France during the Battle of Loos in September 1915 and, until now, had been commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on the Loos Memorial as he had no known grave. His grandson wr…

001: Spring 1981


  Download PDF This browser does not support inline PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF

002: Autumn 1981 (September)


Download PDF This browser does not support inline PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF  

004: Spring 1982


Download PDF This browser does not support inline PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF  

'From Private to Major via the Foresters Arms': The life, death and rediscovery of Octavius Darby-Griffith, MC


British visitors to the south of France will often take the A26 'Autoroute des Anglais' out of Calais. Some 140 miles down this autoroute, they will see on a prominent hill to the right the towers of the medieval cathedral at Laon. Some may turn off the autoroute to pay a visit, others will press on towards Rheims and further south. If the opportu…

Throughout May join The CWGC for Sunday Tours of Brookwood Military Cemetery


Tours every Sunday (except Easter Sunday) until the end of May. This spring, visitors to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s largest cemetery in the UK are invited to join a new series of tours to discover its history and the incredible stories of those buried there.  Spring Tours There will be experienced volunteer guides working on beha…

Clearing the Dead 1919-39


In October we welcome Peter Hodgkinson who will speak to the branch on 'Clearing the Dead 1919-39'. For many years there has been considerable interest in battlefield archaeology. Between the wars, however, a process similar to modern archaeology was carried out to attempt to unearth the missing and bury them properly in IWGC cemeteries. It was a …

20 July 1916 : Pte. Alexander McGregor McKenzie


He was a farmer. He enlisted at Keswick, South Australia on 7 May 1915 and embarked on overseas service from Adelaide aboard HMAT Kanowna on 23 June 1915. After serving at Gallipoli with the 27th Bn AIF from September 1915, Alexander moved to Egypt. After a period of illness, he transferred to the 32nd Battalion and moved to France, arrivi…

The Prince and the Pilot


On a windswept hill overlooking the Yorkshire mill town of Halifax stands the area's most visible landmark: the Wainhouse tower. This is a Victorian-era construction and a 'folly'. It was, theoretically, built as a chimney for a local industrialist's factory, but it was never used as such. Above: The Wainhouse Tower at dusk.  Adjacent to the Wa…

April Meeting - Cancelled The CWGC Rebecca Smith


  Due to the Coronavirus  the April meeting has been cancelled. Please check the website for any further  information about the May - No decision has been made regarding this meeting yet.        The CWGC  by Rebecca Smith     Rebecca Smith is the South West Public Engagements Coordinator for the CWGC.   Come and hear how the work of Sir F…

1 April 1918: Lieut. Augustus Dilberoglue


He parents were Plato (late judge of the Native Court of Appeal in Cairo) and Julia (née Agelasto) of The Lodge, 19 Southfields Rd, Eastbourne, Sussex.  Augustus was educated first at St.Vincent’s Prep School, Eastbourne, then at Eton and finally at Christ Church, Oxford. Augustus was a keen sportsman; he was captain of swimming and rowin…

Lutyens and the Great War by Gerald Gliddon & Tim Skelton


Frances Lincoln Ltd Publishers, 2008, £30, 224pp, illus, index. ISBN 978-0-7112-2678-8  This coffee-table size book, published on the 90th anniversary of the Armistice, is a real credit to its joint authors: WFA member Gerald Gliddon, who needs no introduction to readers of Stand To!; and Tim Skelton, a chartered surveyor and a member of the Lutye…

A Tour of Mesopotamian War Cemeteries in 2003


In the early summer of 2003, fortunately or not, I found myself and the Battalion I was commanding at the time, 7 Air Assault Battalion REME, based just outside of Al-Amarah in what had once been the British front line in Mesopotamia. Wherever I am in the world if there is an opportunity to visit a CWGC site then I will. A quick look on the map and…

Ep. 165 – The Great War Centenary Battlefields programme – Simon Bendry


Simon Bendry, the former Programme Director of the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme based at University College London, talks about the programme that completed its work in March 2020. Your browser does not support the audio element. …

Divisional Memorials on the Western Front


It all started with a conversation. Clive Harris, on one of the excellent battlefield tours run by Battle Honours was talking about Divisional Memorials, and speculated that the construction of these may have been funded by the sales of divisional histories, of which many were published in the 1920s. I thought this was an interesting point as I had…

Who was the first British soldier to be killed in the First World War in 1914?


It is often asserted that the first British soldier to be killed in the war is buried very close to the last soldier to be killed, at St Symphorien Military Cemetery, Belgium. Indeed, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission note that Private John Parr, who was killed on 21 August 1914, is 'Believed to be the first British battle casualty of the war.…

Biggles, the Battle of the Flowers and the RAF in the First World War


In the rarely visited Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Charmes (some 25 miles due south of the city of Nancy) are several graves of men from the RAF. The reason for this is this was the area from which the Independent Force (sometimes called the Independent Air Force) operated against Germany in the later stages of the First World War…

The Affair at Néry


The first weeks of the First World War had seen the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), under Field Marshal Sir John French, arrive in France and take up positions near Mons. Due to the overwhelming strength of the German Armies, this forward movement of the BEF rapidly turned into a retreat. As the BEF - and the French alongside them - fell back a …

Project ALIAS - Collaborative WW1 Pension Records Project


Project ALIAS - the largest collaborative project in the history of The Western Front Association This article pre-supposes that the reader is familiar with:- The Commonwealth War Graves Committee (CWGC) and its website Ancestry & Fold3 websites the Pension Record Cards (PRC), Ledgers and Medal Index Cards ( MIC) held in Fold3. A lot h…

Memories of the child of an Imperial War Graves Gardener


In November 1999, a WFA member called Frank Burns of Scruton, Yorkshire, was invited to address a local branch of Probus on the subject of ‘Visiting the Battlefields of the First World War’. Enjoying a coffee before the meeting began, he was approached by a man carrying a plastic bag containing old photographs and newspaper cuttings. The man was ca…

To What Extent was the Empire’s Commemoration of Those who Served During the First World War Equal?


[This article is by Matthew Cogan aged 19, and is based on his essay which won the Colin Hardy Memorial Prize. Matthew is now (2020-2021) in his first year studying history at the University of Oxford.]  The First World War was the bloodiest war the world had ever seen when it ended in 1918. It was a truly worldwide conflict; both the first and la…

ONLINE : The work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its educational charity


‘Who we are’: The work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its educational charity' presented by Michael Chapman, a speaker for the CWGF. Mike will also provide details of some of the CWGC casualties buried locally. The talk starts at 19.30. MK Branch members will receive an automatic invite, but all are welcome. Anyone who wishes to…

The life and death of soldiers of West Indian Regiment at Seaford Camp, East Sussex during the First World War


Not such a pretty postcard from the seaside camp at Seaford during the First World War Set up in a hurry in the opening months of the First World War Seaford Camp in Sussex on England's south coast wasn’t ready for its first 10,000 trainees in September 1914 so the men, new recruits into Kitchener's Army from southern Wales and east Lancashire f…

From ceremonial duties to First Ypres and beyond: The 1st Life Guards and their single worst day of the war


This is a brief account of one cavalry regiment's war which reached its nadir in unlikely circumstances whilst they were in a supposedly safe location on the French coast re-training for a new role. The story starts and ends at Etaples Military Cemetery. The cemetery is – as those who have visited it – a vast and (for its size) relatively rarely v…

EP. 207a - CWGC War Graves Week 2021 - Simon Bendry


Extra edition: Simon Bendry of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission talks about the Commission’s War Graves Week that takes place between 21-28 May 2021.


The Curious Case of Thomas Brown who served as Thomas Smith and the Dewsbury Roll of Honour and War Memorial


In 2014 a group by the name of Dewsbury Sacrifices was formed with the primary intention of researching the 1053 names in the Dewsbury Roll of Honour and the War Memorial in Crow Nest Park. As these were inaugurated in 1923/24 it meant verifying all the names and endeavouring to find newspaper articles from the war years and later so that photogr…

We've made a great start! Nine schools have registered so far ... come and join us!


Have you registered your school for the Malcolm Doolin Memorial Project for Local History Research yet?
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission can support you with finding graves, touring cemeteries and providing speakers. 
Nine schools registered so far and 8 of them partnered. 

The 'fake' French Aristocrat at Etaples


In the vast expanse of Etaples Military Cemetery are thousands of headstones. Each of these represents the last resting place of a casualty of the war. No doubt all stories are unique, but to misquote George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, some are 'more unique than others'.   Above: Etaples Military Cemetery Below is the image of a headstone of what wo…

CWGC from inception - by Steve Brunt


Steve’s presentation  will look at who the CWGC are and the
origins of the organization, it’s national and international commitment and its work going forward.


Speaker this month  is Steve Brunt, 


A little about our speaker this month:

Stephen Brunt – MA, BA Hons – Honorary Alderman of Chesterfield
CWGC Kantor Volunteer Speaker

From 1994 to 2…

Ep. 222 – Commemoration and CWGC sites in England – Megan Kelleher


Megan Kelleher talks about her research into public awareness of Commonwealth War Graves Commission sites in England. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent.

ONLINE: 'Research and Records Using CWGC Archive - Collection Gems' with Mark Jones


This talk will aim to offer attendees an insight into the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its archives. The CWGC’s Archive is a collection of over 10,000 items relating to the CWGC’s history from its founding up until the present day. The archive is an important source of information regarding the CWGC’s work and includes a range…

15 November 1917 Oswald Chambers, Christian Minister and Teacher


The infant Oswald moved from Aberdeen with his father Rev. Clarence Chambers, a Kent born baptist minister (without charge) his mother Hannah (née Bullock) three brothers and three sisters to Newcastle Road, Stoke on Trent in 1876 where the family still lived at the 1881 Census at 15 Newcastle Road, Stoke on Trent with the addition of one 15 year…

A Father’s Search


For many families of ‘the missing’, the absence of a known grave in the immediate aftermath of the war was unbearable. It would, of course, be some years before the Memorials to the Missing were constructed after the war. Field Marshal Lord Plumer, when unveiling the Menin Gate in 1927, acknowledged the void that many families of ‘the missing’ woul…

'Uncovering the Dead 1919-39' - Dr Peter Hodgkinson


There is currently considerable interest in battlefield archaeology. Between the wars a similar process occurred to exhume the bodies of missing soldiers, identify them, and inter them in IWGC cemeteries. How was this done?  Who did it? What were their experiences? Dr Peter E. Hodgkinson will discuss these questions. Peter Hodgkinson has an MA i…

The Work of the CWGC - Elysia Heitmar


Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) 2 x 30 minute talks on aspects of the work of the CWGC 1. CWGC Architecture and its Conservation – Discover the unique architecture and conservation work of the CWGC. 2. Gardening the World – Learn more about the horticulture of the CWGC. Western Front Association Members and non-members are equally wel…

The Centenary of the lone English oak at Gallipoli


In the Spring of 1922, as part of a unique act of commemoration, the parents of a teenager killed at Gallipoli took the sapling of an English oak tree in a bucket of water across the Mediterranean. One hundred years on and the sapling has grown into an enduring memorial to the sacrifices of hundreds of men from a close-knit group of old Lancashire …

ONLINE: The Foreign Fields that are Forever England - The CWGC around the World


The presentation will be live and online.  Apologies. This presentation had to be postponed because of technical problems. We have rescheduled it for Monday 4th July and the NEW link to join this event is shown below.  Click here to register for this event >> The foreign fields that are forever England - the CWGC around the world Please no…

'The History of the CWGC by Tony Vart'


The History of the CWGC by Tony Vart   Tonight we essentially get 2 talks in one evening. Tony will start with 'CWGC Who We Are' to give us the overview of the CWGC.  The second part is 'The History of the CWGC'.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commision


The Commonwealth War Graves Commision. Rebecca Smith from the CWGC will talk about it's formation and the important role that it now provides on a worldwide basis in the continuing maintenance of war memorials and cemeteries . As we approach Remembrance Day, this interesting talk will take you behind some of the facts of the CWGC. WFA and non me…

A talk by Sarah Nathaniel, Commonwealth War Graves South East ' The CWGC: A deeper look'


Sarah Nathaniel is the Public Engagement Coordinator for the CWGC in the South East Region.  Her role covers Kent, East and West Sussex.  She is one of eleven, covering the whole country. Sarah's introduction to the Western Front was on a tour in 2004 with a group of other young people.  The cemeteries made a particular impact in the visitors and …

‘Stories Beyond The Stones: Commonwealth War Graves Commission Graves in Cork' with Fiona Forde


Fiona's presentation is based on research she conducted on the CWGC graves in Cork for her MA in Local History. In it she relates some of the stories of the military personnel who served during the Great War and who are buried in Cork graveyard. Venue:  Ground Floor, Cork College of FET Photo: L-R - Adrian Foley, Francis O Connor, and Billy Goo…

'The biggest single piece of work since the pharaohs - the role of the Imperial War Graves Commission, 1917-39' - Mark Connelly


We welcome Mark Connelly back to our Hatfield Peverel venue to present his talk about the creation and work of the Imperial War Graves Commission. This is a huge organisation that we hold in the highest regard for their ongoing work in caring for the Fallen.  Mark has presented many, varied talks to the Branch over the years. The meeting will have…

"We Are The Commonwealth War Graves Commission" with Tony Matthews


Tony Matthews of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives an introduction to the history and on-going work of the organisation.   [Image: Connaught Cemetery, Thiepval]

‘The Casualty Evacuation Chain from Hill 60, Ypres in early 1915’ with David Blanchard


David Blanchard will discuss the story of the Field Ambulances 28th and 5th Division, a story which also features Railway Dugouts and other nearby CWGC Cemeteries. We suggest a voluntary donation of £3 per person.  Come and join us – we welcome guests and first-time attendees as well as WFA Members.  For further information please contact Dave B…

'Stories Beyond the Stones – Commonwealth War Graves Commission Graves in Co. Cork' with Fiona Forde


The end of the First World War may have signalled an end to hostilities but the community of mourners it created in its wake was unprecedented, leaving bereft families and many children to wear ‘the medals of their dead fathers’. For many, graves and memorials were places where grief could be focused. In County Cork, there are over 500 Great War de…

'Uncovering the dead 1919-1939' a talk by Dr Peter Hodgkinson


There is currently considerable interest in battlefield archaeology. Between the wars, however, a process similar to modern archaeology was carried out to attempt to unearth the missing and bury them properly in IWGC cemeteries. How was this done? Who did it? What were their experiences? This talk will look at all of these topics. The speaker is a…

About Us

The Western Front Association (The WFA) was formed with the purpose of furthering interest in First World War of 1914-1918. We also aim to perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of all those who served their countries on all sides, across all theatres and fronts, on land, at sea and in the air and at home, during the Great War.

BM Box 1914,
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 118 1914
Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive The WFA's newsletter "Trenchlines"