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New Zealand Memorial at Chunuk Bair | by Archives New Zealand
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New Zealand Memorial at Chunuk Bair

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was founded on May 21 1917. The Commission was founded by Fabian Ware and constituted through Royal Charter in 1917 as the Imperial War Graves Commission. Ware was commander of a mobile unit of the British Red Cross. He arrived in France in September 1914 and whilst there was struck by the lack of any official mechanism for documenting or marking the location of graves of those who had been killed and felt compelled to create an organization within the Red Cross for this purpose. The new Graves Registration Commission had over 31,000 graves of British and Imperial soldiers registered by October 1915 and 50,000 registered by May 1916.


The Imperial War Graves Commission amended its name to its present name in 1960. The Commission is currently responsible for the continued commemoration of 1.7 million deceased Commonwealth military service members in 153 countries and approximately 67,000 civilians who died as a result of enemy action during the Second World War. The organisation is funded partly by the governments of the six member states of: UK; Canada; Australia; South Africa; New Zealand and India. Each nation contributes according to the number of war graves managed by the CWGC on behalf of that nation. New Zealand contributes 2.14% to the annual budget.


This image is of the design for the New Zealand Memorial at Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli, Turkey, from 1922. The memorial opened in May 1925.


ACGO 8368 IA36 19 / 149 (R22421270)


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Taken on October 10, 2012