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The War Graves Photographic Project

The War Graves Photographic Project is a volunteer project set up to document the graves and memorials of British Service personnel from 1914 to the present day, including those killed in recent conflicts and peace-keeping operations.

You can search the site by surname to find a picture of a headstone, memorial or Commonwealth War Grave. The Project warmly welcomes new volunteers or anyone who wishes to submit information to the site.

Aim

This project exists to create a photo archive of the graves and memorials to British servicemen and servicewomen who have fallen in service since the beginning of World War One to the present day.

The Project moves forward through volunteers who photograph the headstones and memorials, and through relatives of the servicemen and servicewomen who contribute information to the site.

It seems that within a few years, memories and records of the lives of our Armed Forces slip into obscurity. In certain areas, cemeteries have fallen into such a state of decay that it is sometimes difficult even to enter them safely.

The Project’s mission is to see their names are not forgotten. Without the help of dedicated volunteers the Project would not exist.

Volunteers

There are approximately 140 active volunteers throughout the UK and the rest of the world, but more are needed to complete this massive project, especially County Co-ordinators.

The task

Of the 1.7 million men and women killed during the First and Second World Wars, 925,000 are in marked graves scattered around 2,500 cemeteries worldwide. There are already ongoing projects like the Maple Leaf Legacy photographing all of the Canadian War Graves and similar ones for the Australians and New Zealanders. The British War Memorial Project will cover all British graves. That said, we all help out each other, as it would be pointless photographing just a proportion of the Commonwealth graves in a cemetery knowing that another project was still missing some from that location.

Project so far

100,000 digital photographs have been taken so far and are now being processed to be accessible on the website. At any one time there are between 10 and 40 requests for photographs or information from family members. The site has had over 90,000 visits and is proving very popular amongst the servicemen’s and servicewomen’s relatives.

Requirements

Volunteers are still very much required throughout the UK and elsewhere, especially anyone based in Northern Europe where the large majority of the British Graves are to be found.

As the process of downloading pictures to the site is relatively time-consuming, digital photos are preferred, to save scanning time. As the Project is purely volunteer and non-profit, the cost of developing thousands of photographs would be a major constraint.

Materially any donations of digital cameras would be most welcome, as would a laptop to enable downloading in the field. Many larger cemeteries can have over a thousand graves, which fills the memory cards up quite quickly!

For further information please look at the site on www.twgpp.org
or contact Steve Rogers, the Project Co-ordinator:
steve(AT)wargraves.org.uk

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