Commonwealth War Graves Commission Casualty Archive added to UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register

By Guest, 9 June 2018 - 9:46am

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Casualty Archive contains the details of 1.7 million men and women who died during the First and Second World Wars

The Thiepval Memorial in France is one of many around the world tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Credit: Chris Jackson/ Getty)
The Thiepval Memorial in France is one of many around the world tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Credit: Chris Jackson/ Getty)

To mark International Archives Day on 9 June, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and UNESCO announce the addition of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Casualty Archive to the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register.

The Register, which promotes the sharing of knowledge for greater understanding and dialogue, recognises records of national significance.

The archive documents the details of the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars.

This includes over 300,000 separate documents detailing the registration of the graves or memorials of the men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars.

CWGC Archivist Andrew Fetherston said: “It is a huge honour for the Commission’s Casualty Archive to be recognised by UNESCO for the UK Memory of the World Register.”

The archive will be formally added to the register at an inscription ceremony on 19 September 2018.

The records include Grave Registration Reports, which record the burial locations and basic details of those individuals, such as their name, service number, rank, regiment, unit and date of death, and Burial Returns, which provide information as to where their remains were recovered and how they were identified.

They also include Headstone Schedules, which were used to produce the final permanent headstone, and Final Verification reports.

This rich seam of information will serve as an invaluable resource to any family historian hoping to learn more about a lost relative who may have fallen during the World Wars.

Items within the archive include correspondence concerning the graves of Lieutenant Raymond Asquith, the son of the British Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith; Major Cedric Charles Dickens, grandson of the famous author; and Prince Maurice of Battenberg, grandson of Queen Victoria.

The CWGC are responsible for building and maintaining cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries and territories.
 

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