A campaign has been launched by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) inviting the public to discover individuals from their local area who died in the two World Wars.
The initiative coincides with War Graves Week, from 21 to 28 May, promoted by the CWGC to raise awareness of wartime history within local communities and the work of the commission in maintaining that heritage.
From 17 May, homeowners across the country will receive First World War postcards featuring stories of 24 casualties from the conflict, all of whom are buried or commemorated in the local areas in which they once lived.
The individuals have been carefully chosen so that local residents can visit their graves, and can also find out more about their history at the CWGC’s war dead database, the link to which is here, using a special postcode search function.
The function allows access to the records of more than 400,000 World War personnel. Entering a postcode reveals the nearest street in which a casualty lived. Users are able to learn more about the individual, download, print, and display a commemorative tribute in their windows for War Graves week.
Commenting on the announcement, Claire Horton CBE, Director General of the CWGC, said: ‘I am delighted to announce the Commission’s first ever War Graves Week. Many people already know about their family’s links to the World Wars, but all of us have somewhere we call home today, and those places have their own stories too.
‘By simply entering your postcode on our website you can take the first step towards making a new connection.’
Horton added: ‘We want people to share the stories they find and download a tribute for the men and women from their communities and display it in their window for War Graves Week.
‘Behind every name on a war grave or memorial is a human story just waiting to be discovered, and War Graves Week is the perfect opportunity to do just that.’
During this week, CWGC teams across the country will hold cemetery tours and skilled demonstrations, both online and in person, as well as work with schools and universities.