Commonwealth War Grave Commission records of the First World War

Printed 1930
Front page from a Navy volume formerly held by the CWGC and then IWM of the Index to Cemetery And Memorial Registers of Those who Fell in the War (WW1), printed circa 1930

From the end of 2016, through 2017, I made many visits to the CWGC Archive to research their WW1 related records. The staff at the archive were helpful and enthusiastic. Thanks to the access I was given to a variety of records ranging from surviving WW1 Enquiry (E-Files), administrative files, the ‘Imperial War Graves Commission Index To Cemetery And Memorial Registers Of Those Who Fell In The Great War’ (think punch cards and mechanical computing) and many of the printed records which are now online such as the Annual Reports. Most of my findings are covered in the Glossary and a number of pages/articles linked to the Glossary.

One of the greatest recently recovered treasures of the C.W.G.C. Archive are the so-called Battalion Ledgers, forming a link between the official casualty lists, the death records for the Registrar General and Soldiers Died In The Great War. My research has allowed us for the first time clearly to see the links between these sources and the origins of Soldiers Died In The Great War. There is also a clear explanation of the meaning and role of most of the handwritten serial prefixes and numbers found in the WW1 Casualty Archive/pre-WW2 correspondence, together with a look at how the Imperial War Graves Commission made and used War Diary extracts for the Memorials to the Missing.

So if you are interested in any of this or just curious, please explore the Glossary by clicking here!

Any images I use in this blog about the C.W.G.C. are either from the CWGC online Casualty Archive (which is in the public domain) or from images of CWGC records of which there are original copies now held outside the CWGC Archive (these images are my copyright). References are also made to documents within CWGC files which can be read at the CWGC Archive.

The next posts will look at:

1) The ‘Imperial War Graves Commission Index To Cemetery And Memorial Registers of Those Who Fell In The Great War’ and what the Index reveals about CWGC casualty records put together before WW2.

2) New evidence for the arrangement of WW1 Army Records in Army Record Offices.



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