How do I find out where someone who died in Service is buried?
Casualties from the First and Second World War
You can search the Debt of Honour Register on the Commission's website at www.cwgc.org to locate the place of burial or commemoration of a friend or relative. This register provides personal and Service details and places of commemoration for the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth forces who died in both world wars. The periods covered by the CWGC are 4 August 1914 to 31 August 1921 and 3 September 1939 to 31 December 1947.
The average casualty record will include the person's name; rank and Service number; place of burial or commemoration; regiment, ship or squadron; gallantry awards (if any); and date of death.
You can also contact them directly at
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 7DX.
Tel: 01628 507200 for casualty information and enquiries or 01628 634221 for any other enquiries.
Monday to Thursday 08.30-17.00; Friday 08.30-16.30; closed Saturday & Sunday
Casualties pre-1914 and between the two World Wars
The policy for Service personnel who died prior to August 1914, and in the period 1 September 1921 to 2 September 1939, was that the deceased's family or Unit was responsible for the gravesite. There is no record of the location of these gravesites, apart from what may be held on the individual's Service record or information that may be held in Units' diaries, many of which are archived at The National Archives.
Post Second World War casualties
As of 1 January 1948, the task of marking and recording members of the Armed Forces who died in service was passed to the MoD. The address to contact for these enquiries is:
MoD - Non-War Graves
SO3 Memorials and Graves, Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency, Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, Building 182, Innsworth Station, Gloucester GL3 1HW
Tel: 01452 712612 ext 6304 or 6063
Does the Legion have a list of memorials?
No. The UK National Inventory of War Memorials was established in 1989 to try and record (non-Commonwealth War Graves Commission) memorials to all conflicts. Based at the Imperial War Museum, this was a joint initiative between the Museum and the Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England, now merged with English Heritage.
Information about each memorial is now on a database and can be used to map the commemorative work of particular artists, the popularity of particular designs and the use of certain materials. Memorial commissioning procedures, the organisation of commemorative ceremonies and the impact of mass death at a local level can also be explored along with issues of national identity, sculptural practice and community organisation.
The UK National Inventory of War Memorials database is available for viewing by appointment in:
Department of Printed Books Reading Room
Main Building, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ
The Reading Room is open Monday-Saturday, 10.00am - 5.00pm.
Please telephone +44 (0)20 7416 5344 to make an appointment.
Where can I find information on War Memorials?
For information on War Memorials please contact:
- the War Memorials Trust (formerly Friends of War Memorials) - click here for details
- the UK National Inventory of War Memorials - click here for details
Does the Legion help with funding for local War Memorials?
The Royal British Legion, as a welfare charity for serving and ex-Service personnel and their dependents, has very strict rules governing how we can spend our charitable funds and we are not allowed to spend it on War Memorials. Usually the responsibility falls to the local authorities, as laid down in the War Memorials (Local Authorities' Powers) Act 1923.
The War Memorials Trust works for the protection and conservation of war memorials in the UK. The charity provides financial assistance for conservation projects, advocacy services and acts as the key referral and advice point. War Memorials Trust is an independent Registered Charity and relies entirely on voluntary funding to undertake its work. You can contact them at the address below.
Does the Legion have any jurisdiction over adding names to existing War Memorials?
The Royal British Legion has no jurisdiction whatsoever in the process of adding names to the existing War Memorials.
Is there a memorial for those who have lost their lives since WW2?
Yes. The Armed Forces Memorial is the first national memorial dedicated to the men and women of the United Kingdom Armed Forces (Regular and Reserve) killed on duty or as a result of terrorist action since the Second World War.
The start date for those included on the memorial is 1 January 1948, which follows on directly from the dates covered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The one exception is for those killed in Palestine who are included on the Memorial. The Armed Forces Memorial is located within the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) within the National Forest near Lichfield.
More details are available on the NMA website.
The Roll of Honour database for the memorial is available on the Veterans UK website. You can search by name and print a certificate.