The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was suggested in 1917 to honour those lost in War.  There are one million six hundred and fifty thousand graves or memorials around the world issued by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
 

.  They commemorate those lost during WW1 & WW2, with one million of those being from WW1.  They all have a simple stone regardless of race, rank or creed or in relation to how they died or where they served,  discriminating against no-one.  Even if a soldier died in Bermuda of pneumonia in the great flu pandemic of 1918, was given the same simple stone as a decorated officer who died in the trenches. The graves and memorials are scattered around the world Andrew highlighted two in Antigua, one in the Canary Islands and five in Chile and 138 in Bermuda.

 

The RoyalNavalCemetery in Dockyard has 74 members of the commonwealth who died in WW1 & WW2.  There are 17 commonwealth graves from the Prospect Garrison which includes a Jewish soldier from what was Southern Rhodesia.

 

Andrew went on to highlight some of the handful of Bermudians who served in the world wars whose graves are scattered around the world.  There are six graves in St Georges which has amongst them the grave of Bermudian George Sampson who was awarded the Victoria Cross.  He received the largest military funeral that St Georges has known.  There is a lone grave in Warwick at St James church from WW1 honouring a 17-year-old recruit PrivateBridges and 2nd Lieutenant Tucker is remembered at St Marks church in Smiths Parish.  Black Bermudian Charles Kennedy Smith was in the First Canadian Artillery and awarded the Military Medal given for acts of bravery in 1916.  He was killed in action in 1917 and a medal from the Governor General of Canada was sent to Mr. Smith's father in Sandys.  O ther Bermudians who lost their lives during the wars include William Edmund Smith of the Royal Navy who was lost on the HMS Aboukir in 1914.  His parents William Felix Smith and Emma Jane (Douglas) of Harmon's Hill, Somerset, received a letter signed by Winston Churchill, conveying the sympathy of the King and Queen.

A 21-year-old Bermudian who died in the First World War was hailed as "one of the Island's forgotten heroes" Leonard DeGraff Godet a 21 year old Bermudian born in Paget a Rhodes Scholar. who received his pilot wings on August 14, 1917 and went to France on active service four days later.  He died June 1, 1918, while serving with the Royal Flying Corps.  His plane was brought down in flames across German lines in France, after completing 16 long-distance raids.  He is buried at ChambieresFrenchNationalCemetery in Metz.

Based on Bermuda's size Bermuda played a vital part in World War II and it is important to remember, because what is happening in contemporary world, today, means we still haven't reached the point where we live in harmony. If these people are forgotten than where is our moral compass.

Andrew encouraged people to remember those who had served in war every day, and to donate to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. For information E-mail casualty.enq@cwcg.org.