Worthing included in first War Graves Week, a national awareness week launched by Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Broadwater Cemetery in Worthing has been included in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s first War Graves Week, honouring people who died in the two world wars.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 2:07 pm

Tours have been organised to encourage the community to discover and learn about the people who gave their lives, and the work of CWGC around the world to honour them.

The gathering at Broadwater Cemetery, in South Farm Road, on Friday, May 28, is one of seven socially-distanced events across the country for the newly-launched national awareness week.

Announcing the initiative, Claire Horton, director general of the CWGC, said: “Remembrance Day and anniversaries will always have a place in our work but War Graves Week is an opportunity for communities to connect with their local heritage in a different way, when the days are longer, when the plants are in bloom and our cemeteries can be seen in a completely different light. We want people to see that work in action and make a local discovery.

The Cross of Sacrifice at Broadwater Cemetery
The Cross of Sacrifice at Broadwater Cemetery

“Many people already know about their family’s links to the world wars but all of us have somewhere we call home today, and those places have their own stories, too. By simply entering your postcode on our website you can take the first step towards making a new connection.

“We want people to share the stories they find and download a tribute for the men and women from their communities and display it in their window for War Graves Week. Behind every name on a war grave or memorial is a human story, just waiting to be discovered and War Graves Week is the perfect opportunity to do just that.”

The week runs from May 21 to 28 and on the final day, hourly tours will be run from 10.30am to 4.30pm at Broadwater Cemetery, the final resting place of 81 Commonwealth and Allied servicemen and women of the two World Wars.

East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton will join other local dignitaries during the afternoon for a VIP tour, followed by a wreath laying.

War Graves Week is aimed at connecting communities with the world war heritage on the doorstep. The new online tool at www.cwgc.org/wargravesweek enables people to search by postcode to discover those who lived in their area who died.

This week, First World War postcards will be dropping through letter boxes as part of War Graves Week activities. These feature stories of casualties buried or commemorated in the area to encourage people to visit the graves.

The CWGC War Graves Week tours are free but a ticket must be booked in advance at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cwgc-war-graves-week-tours-worthing-broadwater-cemetery-tickets-153641292241