Monday, August 17, 2015

COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION RECORDS TO BE DIGITIZED

More than half a million British and Empire forces had already been killed in the Great War by the time the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was established to keep an official record of the fallen in May 1917.

Nearly half a million more deaths would follow between then and Armistice Day as the bloodshed of World War I continued on a scale never previously witnessed.

And when Europe slid back into conflict in 1939, the Commission was once again needed to record the fallen.

World War II involved the British public much more directly than the Great War, so the CWGC began to record the names of civilians killed in the Blitz as well as fallen soldiers.

At the request of Winston Churchill, the civilian records were kept secret because the wartime prime minister feared it would hit morale on the home front.

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