Andrew is urging schools and residents to visit their local Commonwealth war graves to gain a greater understanding of the scale and magnitude of the Great War and the impact that it has had on today’s society.
The call follows a national initiative spearheaded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), the All-Party Parliamentary War Heritage Group and the ‘In From The Cold Project’ that maps over 300,000 Commonwealth war dead by each Parliamentary constituency. The initiative is supported by Andrew who has recently visited Commonwealth war graves in the Hook Road Cemetery, Goole.
At the Education Show in mid-March, CWGC launched an on-line Virtual Cemetery education portal that provides schools and teachers with a comprehensive range of resources and support materials linked to the graves and memorials in their home town. Thevirtual cemetery website www.cwgc-virtual-cemetery.org is an interactive tool which enables pupils and teachers to view images and videos, learn more about CWGC’s work across the globe, and – most importantly – the people that are commemorated in its cemeteries and memorials.
The virtual cemetery resource has been designed to encourage debate and spark pupils’ interest in thinking about the centenary of the First World War and the different ways in which everyone can remember the servicemen and women who gave their lives in the conflict. The website also supports teachers with curriculum notes, lesson plans and suggestions for classroom activities.
Andrew says: “The Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a time, not just for reflection and commemoration but also an important opportunity to educate a new generation of young people about the extraordinary events of a hundred years ago and to bring to life some of the personal stories from those who served from our area.
When teaching this period I regularly used the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website to help students connect with the past and learn more about the sacrifice that was made. Working with local groups and students gives us all an opportunity to explore how we would like to secure this legacy for generations to come and visiting the graves of the fallen is a simple but profoundly important way to commemorate the outbreak of the war.”