While watching the Channel 7 news over the Easter/Anzac Day weekend, one story stood out to me, and that was a request for volunteers in Australia by The War Graves Photographic Project.
Not having heard of this Project before, I noted the name of it, then went on to Google to find out more about it all (where would we be without Google??), and I must say this is an impressive effort from a bunch of volunteers, with over 1.6 million photographs already taken and uploaded to the website from all parts of the world.
Here’s what their website says about the Project:
The aim of The War Graves Photographic Project is to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, MoD grave, and family memorial of serving military personnel from WWI to the present day and make these available within a searchable database.
Now working as a joint venture with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, this will enable families, scholars and researchers to obtain, via the CWGC or TWGPP websites, a copy of the photograph of a grave or memorial which for many is impossible to visit due to the location.
This service has only been made possible through the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers, from all walks of life, who feel the need to Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and who realise the importance for families to see where their loved ones are laid to rest or commemorated.
Can you imagine being able to see a photograph of a grave of a relative who died at war? Particularly when there is no chance of being able to visit the burial place. I put the link to this website up on our Gould Genealogy Facebook page over the weekend, and numerous people were excited to find the grave of someone they had lost, while others found nothing.
As with volunteers-type projects, it is still a work in progress. But you can see which cemeteries in which countries have been done, and those that haven’t, by visiting the CWGC Cemetery locations page (note, to view the maps, you will need Google Earth installed).
Now The War Graves Photographic Project is after the help of Australians. As we live in such a large country, and it not uncommon to have graves in remote places, it doesn’t make it easy for them to be photographed. But with a combined effort of a whole bunch of us, surely we can help make this happen for not only Australia as a country, but also anyone worldwide who is researching these people.
If you would like more information about The War Graves Photographic Project, you can read about it on their website. You can also order copies of the grave photographs at a cost of £3.00 for an emailed, high resolution image, without watermark, and £5.00 for a 7″x 5″ glossy print posted in hard backed envelope.
For anyone who would like to offer to help photograph the war graves around Australia, please send an email to Steve firstname.lastname@example.org or Derek email@example.com, I’m sure they will be thrilled to hear from you.