View of Tyne Cot Cemetery in

Copyright of the image
empics

Legend

Tyne Cot is the largest cemetery of the Commonwealth forces in the world, regardless of the war.

The act of commemoration takes place every day of the year for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Its goal is to preserve more than one million headstones and memorials in 154 countries around the world to commemorate the victims of the First and Second World Wars.

The Tyne Cot Cemetery, near the city of Ypres in Belgium, is home to nearly 12,000 soldiers who fought during the First World War.

Two tombstones to two soldiers who died on the same day of the Battle of the Somme.

Copyright of the image
CWGC

Legend

These two soldiers died on the same day of the Battle of the Somme. One was a famous footballer and winner of VC

"We are probably the biggest gardener in the world," said Commissioner Peter Francis, whose staff was shearing the equivalent of 1,000 football pitches a week.

The gravestones are the same size and are surrounded by uniform lawns and flowers.

The Commission says that all the dead are treated equally, adding that "it does not matter whether you have been killed in action and whether you have received the Victoria Cross or died of flu".

Person covered by a small tent repairing a gravestone at Delville Wood Cemetery in France

Copyright of the image
CWGC

Legend

An important part of the Commission's work is ensuring the legibility of inscriptions on headstones and memorial signs.

The Commission employs 13,000 people worldwide, many of whom are locals. Four generations of the Jaradah family occupy the Gaza cemetery dating from the First World War.

"I am a son of the cemetery," says Ibrahim, the youngest member of the family. "I grew up with these men."

Members of the Jaradah family work to monitor laws and flowers at the Gaza cemetery.

Copyright of the image
CWGC

Meanwhile, a husband and wife team, Shadrack Paull and Lusia Axalte, occupy the Morogoro cemetery in Tanzania.

Shadrack Paull and Lusia Axalte hold hands among graves in cemetery in Tanzania

Copyright of the image
CWGC

Legend

According to the Commission, each site has something familiar but different, the design being often dictated by the climate

Ben More Assynt, in northwestern Scotland, is the UK's most remote war graves. In April 1941, an RAF Anson bomber crashed into the mountain, killing all six crew members.

The tomb originally bore a cairn, a pile of stones made by the man, which has deteriorated over time. In 2012, they flew into a new granite marker with the help of a RAF helicopter to replace the original stones.

Helicopter carrying the tomb of Ben More Asynt

Copyright of the image
CWGC

Legend

Ben More Assynt is one of 13,000 locations in the UK with a war grave

Continued conflict can make it more difficult to maintain war graves.

However, the commission recently managed to restore hundreds of graves at Habbaniya Military Cemetery, west of Baghdad, Iraq.

In Iraq alone, there are 54,000 war dead.

Two men wearing blue suits and yellow helmets to restore graves in Iraq

Copyright of the image
CWGC

Yemen, torn by war, is another difficult place. The CWGC has recently been informed of vandalism at the Maala cemetery in the south of the country.

He says he's already made replacement headstones, but is waiting for secure access to the site to make repairs.

Maala Cemetery in Yemen is filled with broken and broken stones

Copyright of the image
CWGC

Legend

At present, it is not considered safe for Commission staff to undertake the necessary repair work.

Encroachment is another problem. In Nairobi, farmers use the Kariokor cemetery to dry cowhides and sell them.

The CWGC says it is working with local authorities to find a long-term solution.

Kairokor Cemetery in Nairobi where cowhides surround the memorial.

Copyright of the image
CWGC

Although each cemetery has familiar themes about gardens and flowers, there are no two identical sites.

Portland stone is often used for gravestones in large cemeteries in Belgium and France, while in Scotland, granite is often used.

In Turkey, tombs are marked by pedestals rather than gravestones because of the harsher climate.

A person in a scarf uses power tools to repair a pedestal at Lone Pine Cemetery in Gallipoli, Turkey

Copyright of the image
CWGC

Legend

More Than 1,200 Commonwealth Soldiers Burial at Lone Pine Cemetery in Gallipoli

"Remembrance is always a living and breathing process," says the CWGC.

He recently completed a memorial in Abuja, Nigeria commemorating more than 2,000 Nigerian nationals who lost their lives serving the Commonwealth forces.

Soldiers and soldiers in green and red uniforms stand in front of the memorial with flags and two statues in Abuja.

Copyright of the image
CWGC

All images are copyrighted by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.