Major World War anniversaries & why it’s important to support the CWGF

2024 has seen some major World War anniversaries. Here’s where our charity fits in and why it’s important to support the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation.

The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation & Commemorating the World Wars’ key events

Marking the 80th anniversary of key Second World War events 

8 45am Sword Beach 6 June 1944

Image:8:45am, Sword Beach, 6 June 1944 (© IWM)

In 2024, we’ve already marked some of the major events of the Second World War via the Legacy of Liberation.

From the desperate defence at Kohima and Imphal to the soaring mountains and plunging valleys of Italy to Normandy’s iconic beaches, the 80th anniversaries of some of the war’s key campaigns fall this year.

There is more to come in 2024 as we head towards Operation Market Garden and the first attempt to liberate the Netherlands from Nazi Germany. We’re also looking ahead to 2025 and the 80th anniversaries of VE and VJ Day.

The courage and sacrifice of those who fought and fell in these world-changing battles cannot be overestimated. The liberties and freedoms we enjoy today were paid for with the lives of hundreds of thousands of the Commonwealth’s young men and women.

Spreading the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation, the Commission, and our part in commemorating these events and casualties is imperative. We hope you agree.

110th anniversary of the First World War

British Troops near Thiepval at Flers-Courcelette Image

Image: British Troops near Thiepval at Flers-Courcelette (© IWM)

Not only is it the 80th anniversary of some of the Second World War’s key events, 20214 also marks 110 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

The First World War and Commonwealth War Graves are closely linked. The Commission was founded during the conflict by Sir Fabian Ware, in response to the huge slaughter he saw first-hand on the Western Front.

From there, Commonwealth War Graves has grown to become the global leader in commemoration – but there is still lots of work to be done to keep alive the memories of those who lost their lives during the Great War.

Their stories still need telling

A collage of soldiers' faces

Image: Each of the servicemen and women has their own story to tell

As the centuries lengthen, more and more we overlook the debt of gratitude we owe the generations that lost but gave us so much in the World Wars. It’s more important than ever to remember their sacrifice.

King George V said after his Pilgrimage to the former battlefields and new Commission sites dotting the Western Front in the 1920s: “I have many times asked myself whether there can be more potent advocates of peace upon the Earth through the years to come than this massed multitude of silent witnesses to the desolation of war.”

Now, nearly a century later, the King’s words still hold incredible weight.

We’re more committed than ever to reaching new audiences, particularly young people around the UK, to share our work and the stories of those in our care so their experiences are never forgotten.

How can you support us?

Join the Foundation

Support us year-round by joining the Foundation as a member.

For just £3 a month, your membership goes towards our projects, initiatives and events all based on our core mission of keeping their stories alive.

As a CWGF member, you can enjoy:

Want to make a one-off donation instead? Not a problem. Simply head to our Donation page. Thank you.

Leave a legacy

There are over 1.7 million men and women killed in the World wars in the care of Commonwealth War Graves.

Each of these service personnel had their own stories; their own families; their own lives.

They were brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. They were parents, uncles, cousins. From communities up and down the country, and across the Commonwealth, they came to serve, but sadly never went home.

Leaving a gift in your Will helps us keep the memories of these people alive. 

Charities like the CWGF are included in Wills for many different reasons:

Visit the Legacies page to learn more.

Please note: the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation cannot offer legal advice. The information on this website is presented only for awareness.

Volunteer with us

There are opportunities to volunteer with Commonwealth War Graves if you want to help us spread the word about who we are and what we do!

With chances to get involved as a tour guide, a guest speaker, or an Eyes On, Hands On team member, visit our Volunteers page to find a role that suits you.

As well as helping support the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation, volunteering gives you some brilliant health and well-being benefits too:

If you’re interested, please visit the Volunteer page to see the latest opportunities.


Tags CWGF Commonwealth War Graves Foundation