See our ‘historic documents collection’ for examples of some of the many registers we have used as a source for this collection.
The registers are divided by the cemetery/memorial and list the names of the dead commemorated that are either interned or commemorated there.
Many of the dead have only a mention on a central or surrounding memorial (such as the rear wall at Tyne Cot) due to the fact they are either interned there in a mass grave or they are know to have died in the fighting but no body has been recovered.
Many also are buried in unmarked graves where the body found was not able to be identified at that time.
Following a large amount of record work by Major General Sir Fabian Ware who volunteered for the red cross earlier in the war and realized the dead were not being recorded accurately he founded the Army Graves Commission, and this later became the IWGC.
The Imperial War Graves Commission was granted a royal charter in 1917 and work began to record and commemorate the fallen.
The registers record all those who died between 4/8/14 and 31/8/1921 and between 3/9/39 and 31/12/47.
The date for World War I is from an order in council declaring the war over, and may reflect the fact that troops were still on active service in Russia until 1921. while for World War II the commission selected a convenient date as there are different dates for various axis powers. When there is a range of possible death dates the earliest date is used.
All war dead are equal in the eyes of the charter and all memorials and gravestones are of equal design and size to reflect this, with no differences for rank, race or religion.
The IWGC changed its name to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in 1960.
There are over 2,500 cemeteries and many memorials built by the IWGC and they are responsible for over 23,000 other burial locations, commemorating 1.7 million commonwealth service personnel in over 150 different countries.
Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.
Original Source: Transcribed from the IWGC registers and cross referenced with more up to date CWGC information