Click below on our Events and Calendar page to see the photos from our Heritage weekend we held in September.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) was established by Royal Charter in 1917 as the sole organisation charged with the commemoration of Commonwealth service men and women who died during the First World War. This remit was later extended to cover the Second World War. Today, we maintain the graves or commemorations of over 1.7 million such fallen service personnel worldwide. The most common image of war graves is of the formal cemeteries in Belgium and northern France such as Tyne Cot and Thiepval but this is only part of the story.
“Eyes On, Hands On” was launched in October 2020. Its purpose is to care for over 127,000 scattered war graves in Great Britain. ‘Scattered graves’ are single burials or groups of less than 10 that are found in civic and consecrated cemeteries in cities, towns and villages from the Shetland Islands to Kent and the Isles of Scilly. Volunteers are trained to survey and record (Eyes On) and to care for these graves (Hands On). Some families chose to put up their own memorials – many of these are commemorated by the CWGC overseas but where they are the resting place of a casualty, we monitor the graves to see that they remain legible although we cannot maintain the headstones. While most are casualties of the two World Wars from the Commonwealth, the commission also cares for many foreign graves from both allied and enemy countries along with some non-war graves of those who died while serving their country outside the war years. It is not practical to maintain the formal garden approach of the Great War cemeteries, so scattered graves are kept in sympathy with the setting they are in.
The underlying principle of the CWGC is that all are equal in
death, so a prince or a peddler has the same headstone.
In the Parish Church of St. Mary, Radcliffe, there are six
CWGC headstones and two private memorials from the World Wars. There is also one casualty who has both a private memorial and his commission headstone.
If you want to know more of these brave souls, the CWGC website, www.cwgc.org, has a section called Find War Dead where you can find out more about each individual.
Reverend Jeffrey Clawson who has joined us at St Mary's Church and STSJ as our Interum Minister. He has certainly landed with a bump given what is happening locally and with the UK but we are so
very excited to have him join us and offer him a warm Radcliffe welcome.
Radcliffe Parish Church of St Mary
St Thomas & St John
St Philips Community Centre
Higher Dean St