Commonwealth War Graves Commission Marks Centenary
Monday, 22nd May 2017
A minute's silence to remember the victims of the Manchester attack was held before a Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate the Centenary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at Westminster Abbey on 23rd May. HRH The Duke of Kent attended the service.
The service was led by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:
Here in Westminster Abbey 3,300 people are buried or memorialised. Amongst them are many kings and queens and other members of the British royal family, as well as men and women famous for the leading part they played in the story of their own generation.
But one Grave stands apart, that of the Unknown Warrior, exhumed from one of the battlefield cemeteries in Northern France alongside those who had been buried hastily where they fell but whose burial ground was to be beautifully ordered and maintained.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission across the world continues its charge of maintaining calm and orderly respect at the burial places of our war dead. This is a work of honour, so different from the practices after battle of earlier generations. Today as we mark the centenary of their foundation, we gather to express our thanks, to celebrate their achievement and to honour those who have held high the torch.
At the start of the service, the Commission’s Royal Charter Supplement and two supplementary Civilian War Dead Rolls were processed through the Abbey Church and presented to the Dean at the High Altar.