CWGC Newsletter

A newsletter from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.


Welcome to this week’s edition of the CWGC Newsletter
This week is the tenth anniversary of the dedication of Fromelles  (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery – the first Commission cemetery built in almost fifty years.

In May 2008, a number of mass graves dating from the First World War were identified at Pheasant Wood, near Fromelles in northern France. They contained the remains of 250 Australian and British servicemen who died in the Battle of Fromelles, which took place between 19 and 20 July 1916. There they remained, undiscovered, for nearly a century until, after extensive research, the graves were discovered.

The CWGC oversaw the recovery of the remains and reburial of these servicemen. Although the remains of fallen soldiers are still discovered at a rate of some 30 a year across France, the discovery of 250 bodies at one site was exceptional; and so, for the first time in almost fifty years, it was decided that a new CWGC cemetery should be constructed. 90 years after these men were killed in battle, they were laid to rest in Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery which was dedicated on 19 July 2010.
The case of Fromelles shows that our work is just as relevant today as it was one hundred years ago. Read on to learn more about what else we are doing.

Remembering Fromelles

In our next CWGC Live, we mark the tenth anniversary of the dedication of Fromelles  (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery. Join us and some of those involved in the construction of the cemetery by tuning into our Facebook page at 13:00 (UK time) on Thursday 16 July.

Learn More about Fromelles

Julie Summer’s book Remembering Fromelles charts the story of the discovery of the mass graves, the archaeology behind the excavations, the question of identification and the process of reburial and cemetery construction undertaken during the course of 2009 and 2010 at Fromelles.

Flemish Government Partnership

A generous grant provided by Flemish Authorities has enabled us to bring forward restoration works at seven cemeteries in the former Ypres Salient. This partnership marks a recognition of the importance of our sites to Flemish culture, heritage and tourism.

Looking for somewhere different to visit in England? Following its closure due to COVID-19, the CWGC’s Runnymede Air Forces Memorial in Surrey has now reopened. With plenty of open space to explore, you can now also discover a fascinating new digital exhibition detailing the life of Second World War special agent Noor Inayat-Khan. Watch the video below to learn more.
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