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Remembering the Forgotten Front – CWGC Living Memory Pilot Project 2015

Posted  15 March 2016 in News  
By Hannah Clark
Student from Manchester Academy at Manchester Southern Cemetery, November 2015

The Living Memory project remembers the forgotten front – the 300,000 war graves or commemorations right here in the UK.

This is not just about the village churchyard.  It is about very large sites in big cities across the UK, where the military hospitals were. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission in partnership with the Big Ideas Company, have developed The Living Memory Project, to get the public into these sites across the UK.

“The Living Memory Project aims to reconnect the British public to the commemorative heritage on their doorstep” (Colin Kerr, Director of External Relations CWGC)

The project ran as a pilot in Autumn 2015, across a selection of UK locations including Reading, Manchester, Bristol, London, Seaford, Perth and Belfast, and has already had an impact on communities. At the start of the pilot only 47% of participants were aware of CWGC sites in the UK, but by the end of the project 100% could name a local site.

With the support of the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) , a range of community groups including schools, libraries, sports clubs, history groups, youth organisations, veterans and community associations were able to take part.

These diverse communities and individuals are now more aware of the CWGC, its work and mission. They are also more enthusiastic to engage with the organisation in the future development of their own particular narratives and stories around World War One and World War Two.

More detailed information about the pilot projects can be found here.

In a year when the focus is rightly on France and the 141 days of the Somme, there is an important story to tell here in Britain and the Commonwealth countries, about the countries these troops came from.

Following on from the success of the pilot, the Living Memory Project will be expanding in 2016. More information will be announced in April 2016.

To register your interest in participating in the Living Memory Project, please email

Big Ideas Company are currently recruiting six part time Area Managers to work with them and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to deliver the Living Memory project in 2016. More information available here.



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