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ARMISTICE ANNIVERSARY: The work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The graves of 1.7 million Commonwealth soldiers are maintained by a major international institution in Maidenhead.

Based in Marlow Road, by Kidwells Park, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is responsible for looking after the names, stories and the final resting places of the men and women who died in the First and Second World Wars.

Established in 1917, most of the commission’s work to record and care for the graves of soldiers from countries that now make up the Commonwealth began after the armistice in 1918.

It moved to Maidenhead from London to ensure its records avoided destruction during the Blitz in 1941, in the Second World War.

It now cares for graves and memorials in 23,000 places across more than 150 countries and territories, covering sites from the 12,000-plus war dead buried at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium to a four-grave plot in North Carolina in the US.

The commission’s sites will feature prominently as the world marks 100 years since the guns fell silent.

In Maidenhead, it tends to 70 graves in All Saints Cemetery, All Saints Church and St Luke’s Church.

 

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