UK’S youth enrich visitor experience at war graves in France and Belgium
09/06/2018 - Ieper - Source: CWGC
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission Centenary Interns will welcome visitors to some of the most iconic CWGC sites in the world
  • The Interns will deliver free ‘Gateway to Ypres’ walking tours, explaining the CWGC’s important role in the establishment of Ieper as a place of pilgrimage
CWGC Centenary Interns upon their arrival at the CWGC Beaurains office (FR) for an intensive training © CWGC April 2018.

Twenty-four young people from across the UK have beaten hundreds of applicants to become Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Centenary Interns – working with the CWGC in France and Belgium, at some of the most important sites commemorating those who died in the two world wars.

The CWGC Centenary Internship has been funded by a LIBOR grant from the UK Government and is now supported by the CWGC’s new charity – The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF). Members of the public can join and support the Foundation via our website at  The Foundation has been specifically created to keep the memory and the stories of those who died in the two world wars alive for generations to come.

Liz Sweet, the CWGC’s Director of External Relations in Western Europe explained: “The numbers of people visiting our cemeteries and memorials is at all all-time high but with the passage of time, many of those visitors are looking to the CWGC to provide more information about those who died, the wider history of the two world wars, and the work we do to care for such places. We were seeking the brightest and best of their generation to enrich that visitor experience and our 2018 wave of interns will be part of a programme that makes a real difference to those visitors.”
The CWGC Centenary Interns programme is a unique opportunity for young people to travel, live and work with the CWGC in France and Belgium over the course of the summer in 2018. Following a period of training, the interns act as paid guides at a number of iconic CWGC sites – including Tyne Cot and Bedford House Cemeteries near Ieper in Belgium, and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme in France. They will welcome and guide visitors, undertake research and help offer context and clearer understanding of both the CWGC and the First World War, from the perspective of people not much younger than many of those who died. 

Still amid the World War 1 Centenary commemorations, the CWGC Interns will play an important role in 2018 commemorations and will participate in key national and international events, amongst others the RBL Pilgrimage in August and centenary of the end of the war when we celebrate Armistice in November 2018.

In their mission to serve the commitment to remember, this year’s Centenary Interns will be taking visitors on a walking tour of Ieper. The CWGC official guided walking tour, ‘Gateway to Ypres’, will explain the role of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the establishment of the city as a place of pilgrimage for veterans and families. This free tour lasts approximately one and a half hour and takes the visitors to iconic places as the CWGC Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, the St. George’s Memorial Church, CWGC Ypres Reservoir Cemeteries and many more.