The War Graves Photographic Project
The War Graves Photographic Project original aim was to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, Ministry of Defence grave, and family memorial of serving military personnel from WWI to the present day. However, due to its popularity the project has now extended the remit to cover all nationalities and military conflicts and make these available within a searchable database. These memorials are all over the world where British, Commonwealth and other nations servicemen and women are buried or commemorated.
Working as a joint venture with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and assisting The Office of Australian War Graves,and the Veterans Affairs Canada and the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage this enables families, scholars and researchers to obtain, via the CWGC or TWGPP websites, a copies of the photograph of a grave or memorial entry, which for many older people it is impossible to visit due to the location and ability to travel. This service has only been made possible through the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers, from all walks of life, who feel the need to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice and who realise the importance for families to see where their loved ones are laid to rest or commemorated. This emulates the CWGC ethos to ‘Remember in Perpetuity’.
The project has a website with a searchable database. Copies of archived photographs (currently around 1,815,006 as of 8th February 2015) can be obtained, for a nominal administration fee, on request to the project.
The site has become very popular so it is now including war and other service graves from conflicts earlier than 1914 and World War I. Submissions of images from anywhere in the world where military personnel were based or conflicts like the Anglo-South African War are now being welcomed.
The Project has been mentioned by a British Parliamentary Early Day Motion and is linked to the parliamentary website.
Regular visits are organised where at weekends volunteers as a group visit a war cemetery to carry out a photographic and cataloguing exercise. A group visit to the Netherlands in May 2008 achieved a further 18000 images and a trip to Gallipoli in September 2008 completed all those required (35,000) on the Turkish peninsula.
During March 2011 The Royal Naval Patrol Service Association have submitted a new set of images for Lowestoft Naval Memorial as part of a plan to upgrade image quality of the archives using later camera technology wherever necessary.
The project was awarded a commendation by the Duke of Kent, the president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, in May 2013.
- Early day motion 1230 - WAR GRAVES PHOTOGRAPHIC PROJECT on www.parliament.uk
- "War Graves Photographic Project Receives Royal Recognition" (PDF) (Press release). 20 May 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-03.