To mark Commonwealth Day, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) will be offering free themed guided tours at Stonefall Cemetery this weekend.
During the Second World War almost 1,000 service personnel were buried at Stonefall Cemetery. Many of them came from across the Commonwealth and they include over 600 Canadian and almost 100 Australian service personnel alongside casualties from East Africa, the Caribbean, New Zealand and Fiji.
During the tours for Commonwealth Day (12th – 14th March) the public will be able to learn more about the casualties from across the Commonwealth who are buried at Stonefall most of whom were bomber crew killed on active missions or on training flights.
Of the many Canadians buried at the site, are two brothers serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force who died just three months apart and also two 17 year old casualties. Fighter pilots are also buried at the site and the stories of two of them – one the descendent of the last King of Fiji and one from Trinidad – will be told. The tours are an integral part of the CWGC Ordinary People Extraordinary Times Around The World campaign.
Elizabeth Smith, Public Engagement Coordinator for the North East of England, said:
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission cares for 170 000 war graves from both World Wars at more than 12,500 locations in the United Kingdom. The Air Force plot at Stonefall Cemetery is unique in the North of England due to its size and resemblance to our sites overseas. The Commonwealth Day tours at Stonefall Cemetery will give local people a chance to reconnect with their history, to learn about the work of the CWGC, and discover the remarkable stories of casualties who volunteered to leave their homes and serve their King and the British Empire.
The free themed guided tours will take place between Saturday 12th and Monday 14th March. Bookings can be made via https://www.cwgc.org/our-war-graves-your-history/what-s-happening-near-you/
For more information please contact: Elizabeth Smith on firstname.lastname@example.org