Cardiff residents visit war graves to remember sacrifices

An intergovernmental organisation launched the event to tell the stories behind the headstones and how the graves were maintained.

Amy Kitcher, who introduces stories for residents behind the headstones.

Cardiff residents attended a silent memorial dedicated to over 700 people who sacrificed their lives during the two world wars.

On Wednesday , over 30 residents attended the event. They visited the war graves and were told about the stories behind the headstones and how the graves were maintained. This was part of the events of the War Graves Week which is run by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

“To encourage people to visit cemeteries in the UK, we decided to organize this event.”said Amy Kitcher, who works for CWGC, “People didn’t realize that we actually have thousands of war graves in the UK.”

Volunteer Shaun Guy is demonstrating how to assemble an entrenching tool.
WW1 British equipment.

The organization also hopes this event will provide more space for local residents to visit after lockdown closed most places. Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), which aims to mark, record and maintain the graves and places of commemoration of Commonwealth of Nations military service members who died in the two World Wars.

The tour begins at the Cross of the Fallen, located in the northern park of the cemetery. Amy is responsible for introducing the different headstones and the stories of several of the sacrifices. Volunteer Shaun Guy explains the equipment and usage of soldiers during the First World War for visitors. And two volunteers demonstrated how to clean the headstones.

The volunteer is showing how to clean the headstone with only water. He pointed to the traces of moss and said: “Let mother nature do their things.”

The Cemetery contains war graves of both the world wars and has the most CWGC war graves in Wales. There are now nearly 500 First World War and over 200 Second World War casualties commemorated at this site, including some 40 French and Norwegian nationals are also commemorated here.

“Behind every name on a war grave or memorial is a human story, just waiting to be discovered,” Claire Horton CBE said, who is the Director-General of the CWGC. (image credit: CWGC.)