During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the archive team at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) began systematically cataloguing and digitising the Enquiries (or “E”) files held in their archives. While this work is not complete, the eFiles digitised so far have been fundamental to my research. Through looking at the eFiles pertaining to the First World War dead buried in England, I have been able to uncover a variety of stories representative of the Commission’s work in Britain. From the challenges of maintenance to the concerns of the bereaved, the CWGC’s eFiles make fascinating reading. In this paper, I will be discussing some of the stories that were of particular interest to my study of the commemoration and care of First World War dead in Britain. I will be highlighting how they have impacted on my PhD research, and the broader effect they have on the British public’s understanding of commemoration.
All welcome- this seminar is free to attend but advance registration is required.