Making their name live for evermore

Over the last century, remembrance has become an entrenched part of Britain’s national consciousness, from the two minutes’ silence on Remembrance Sunday to the wearing of the red poppy.  In this centenary year, many innovative forms of commemoration are encouraging all generations to re-examine the purpose and appearance of remembrance.  The CWGC is proud to be partnering with several organisations to achieve this aim.


Text under gold-coloured outline of lying figure

In honour of those commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, artist Rob Heard has produced over 72,000 figurines hand-sewn into calico shrouds. Using our extensive casualty records, Rob names each Shroud as he completes it, in a highly personal act of remembrance.  The Shrouds will be laid out at the Olympic Park over the Armistice period, viscerally reminding viewers of the physical reality behind such a vast number of ‘missing’ men.

Get involved: Alongside the display, the CWGC is gathering memories and photographs of those named on the Thiepval Memorial.  Leave a lasting legacy to their sacrifice by uploading your loved one’s story.     

Learn more about Shrouds of the Somme.

Second Lieutenant Matt Hancock from the 6 RIFLES laying one of the figures. © MARK PASSMORE/APEX


2018 marked the 90th anniversary of a significant pilgrimage undertaken by the British Legion for grieving relatives and veterans to visit graves in France and Belgium.  The 1928 ‘Great Pilgrimage’ culminated in a march to the Menin Gate for its official unveiling.  This year the CWGC hosted over 2,000 RBL members at its major European sites, including as Thiepval and Tyne Cot, in a moving recreation of the pilgrimage.

The CWGC is also supporting the RBL’s Thank You Campaign, finding creative ways of acknowledging the contribution made by so many to the war effort – from Commonwealth forces to women, from artists to children.

Get involved: Find out more about the ‘Thank You’ campaign.



This art installation seeks to raise awareness among local communities of those who never came home from the war.  Lists of names on town and village war memorials are embodied as hauntingly transparent ‘Tommy’ figures in Perspex and aluminium.  The CWGC has produced educational resources for pupils to learn more about the impact of the war on those left behind.

Get involved: Access these learning resources or purchase a Tommy

There But Not There


This organisation’s purpose is to engage children and young people globally with the centenary of the First World War through poetry, art and song. This year, in collaboration with the CWGC and others, Never Such Innocence held a competition called ‘Salonika Remembers’ for Greek students to respond creatively to our sites. The winner’s piece was incorporated into the official Salonika commemorations held at Doiran Cemetery in September 2018.

We have also participated in the Never Such Innocence 2017-18 Roadshow, travelling across the country and in Europe to educate young people about the global and local impact of the war.

Get involved: Learn more about Never Such Innocence projects


Money raised from some of the above projects will support the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF), a charity that supports the work of the CWGC by engaging young people in telling the stories of the 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died in both World Wars.

To find out more and become a supporter today