Millions of people across the Commonwealth could discover more about relatives who fought and died during WW1, thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) who have launched two new online resources this week, designed to help the public gain a greater understanding of those who lost their lives in service during the war.
The unveiling of the CWGC’s recently completed online archives and the brand new Discover 14-18 microsite will make locating and visiting memorial sites of relatives and loved ones killed in the war, easier than ever before. The online resources will also greatly enhance the service that the CWGC is able to provide to the 1.6 million people who contact them every year, and will be an excellent tool for teachers looking for new ways to engage pupils with the history of WW1.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, founded in 1917, is responsible for marking and caring for the graves and memorials of over 1.7 million Commonwealth war dead from the two world wars. However, in the lead up to the Centenary of WW1 this August, they have also undertaken a five year project to scan over 300,000 working documents relating to those who died in service during WW1 and upload them to the www.CWGC.org website. These documents include details of personal headstone inscriptions, date of death, rank, regiment and even some documents which show the journey of the deceased to their final resting place.
In addition to this, the brand new Discover 14-18 microsite www.cwgc.org/discover1418 should enhance pupils understanding of the historical context of the CWGC cemeteries and memorials through a timeline and events calendar for WW1, alongside content themed around major battles and the different roles of the Army, Navy and Air Force.