Friday, 19 May 2017

For Then, For Now, For Ever

To mark the centenary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s foundation by Royal Charter in 1917, an exhibition For Then, For Now, For Ever opens this Saturday, 20 May at the Canadian Records Building at Brookwood Military Cemetery – the largest CWGC site in the UK with more than 5,000 burials and 3,500 commemorations on the Brookwood Memorial.

The exhibition tells the story of the CWGC’s creation through to modern day, using historical objects and artefacts from the CWGC archive and collections. Many of the exhibits have never been publicly displayed before. They include an original First World War grave marker and a petition from the 1920s addressed to then CWGC President, HRH The Prince of Wales. The petition contains more than 8,000 signatures – predominantly from mothers who had lost sons in the Great War – asking the Commission to reconsider the use of a uniform marker in favour of a cross. These and other objects tell the sometimes difficult story of how one man’s vision came to forever change the way we remember the war dead.

The exhibition will be supported by a series of special events during its first week – with talks from CWGC staff and guest speakers on topics from horticulture to history. The exhibition will be open for six months.

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