Commonwealth Roll of Honour Project

This volunteer project was set up in February 2007 by Mike Symmonds to document the graves and memorials of all Commonwealth Service personnel from 1914 to the present day, including those killed in recent conflicts and peace-keeping operations.

The Commonwealth Roll of Honour Project warmly welcomes new volunteers or anyone who wishes to submit information.

Aim

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

The aim of this project is to work in conjunction with the governments or similar bodies in each Commonwealth Country to develop or contribute to a source of free online information on their war casualties. The hope is to include all the information possible, including attestation papers, service records, medal records, war diaries, photographs of headstones and memorials and any other information available. Project Director Mike Symmonds has already been working with the Veterans Affairs Canada team for the last year or so and hopes also to be working with the New Zealand and South African governments, whom he has been in contact with for the last few weeks.

The project moves forward through volunteers who photograph the headstones and memorials and through relatives of the servicemen 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 55 active volunteers throughout UK and the rest of the world but more are needed to fulfil this massive project, especially Co-ordinators at the County, Province or Département level. You are warmly invited to join the Project team and help leave a lasting online memorial to all our fallen service personnel.

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.

Project so far

Around 40,000 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.

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 uploading pictures 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.

In view of the cost of a photograph from the private websites such as the Maple Leaf Legacy and the War Graves Photographic Project, there will be no cost or donation request from this project for a photo request.

Quote from Mike Symmonds, Project Director

“Not a single day goes by that I do not find this project intensely moving. I hope that you find something similar here for yourself, and warmly encourage anyone to contribute to the project.”

For further information please