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5th Jul, 2022

Commonwealth War Graves Commission landing in Stratford

THE Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) will be bringing its War Graves Week to Stratford between May 21 and 28.

War Graves Week is an initiative aimed at encouraging people from the community to come together and discover the World War heritage on their doorstep.

Local CWGC volunteers and staff will be in Bridge Street talking to local residents keen to learn more about the remarkable stories of the men and women of the Commonwealth forces that died in the First and Second World Wars who are buried in their community.

More than 159 casualties from the two wars are buried at Evesham Road Cemetery in Stratford – 137 of those were flying casualties from the Second World War of whom 97 are Canadian.

The majority of these flyers died on training flights from Wellesbourne Airfield.

There are also four German and six Italian prisoner of war graves.

There are 152 parish sites in Warwickshire – including Ratley Parish which had 17 people from the same family going to war, six of whom did not return.

The focus of this year’s War Graves Week is Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times.

The CWGC will be commemorating the value those who served during the world wars brought to key sectors such as health care, logistics, infrastructure and communications.

Tim Parry, Stratford’s CWGC volunteer coordinator, said: “We’re delighted to bring CWGC’s War Graves Week to Stratford.

“For us at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, remembrance and the sharing and caring for world war heritage is a daily duty. Behind every name on a war grave or memorial is a human story waiting to be discovered and War Graves Week is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

“I encourage both residents and visitors to the town to come and say hello to us on the street. If you want to be reconnected with your local history and learn about the courageous ordinary people from our community who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”

Visit https://www.cwgc.org/ for more information.

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