Commonwealth War Graves Commission

CWG logo with graves

ANZAC Day & the Legacy of War

Over 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces died during the First and Second World War. Of this number, the remains of 925,000 were found and their graves are marked by a headstone. Where the remains were not found, the individual's name is commemorated on a memorial. At Gallipoli alone, 36,00 Commonwealth servicemen died. The 31 war cemeteries on the Gallipoli Peninsular contain 22,000 graves, though it was possible to identify only 9,000 of these. The 13,000 who rest in graves known only to God in the cemeteries, coupled with more than 14,000 whose remains were never found are commemorated individually by name on a number of memorials including the Lone Pine Memorial, Chunuk Blair Memorial and Helles Memorial.

The tireless effort of marking and maintaining the graves of the Commonwealth Forces who died in the two World Wars, to build memorials to those who have no known grave or who perished at sea, to embellish sites with horticulture to give casualties dignified commemoration and to keep records and registers is carried out by The Commonwealth War Graves Commission which was established by Royal Charter in 1917.

The cost is borne on a proportionate basis by the member governments - Australia, Britain, Canada, India New Zealand, and South Africa. Other Commonwealth counties contribute to the effort by carrying out the routine care and maintenance of graves and memorials in their own lands. There are war graves in some 150 countries across the world; mostly in the 2,500 war cemeteries and plots constructed by the Commission. There are also war graves in many civil cemeteries and churchyards.

In recognition of the effort the Commonwealth War Graves Commission undertakes at memorials as far afield as Gallipoli, Bita Paka and El Alamein, On The Go are proud to make a donation to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on your behalf for every ANZAC Day holiday booked with us.

We invite you to peruse the website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and encourage individuals to make their own personal bequest at


Legacy: Caring for the families of incapacitated and deceased veterans.

On The Go Tours is proud to be associated with Legacy - an organisation dedicated to caring for the families of deceased Australian servicemen and women. Today Legacy’s caring and compassionate service assists over 100,000 widows and 1900 children and dependants with a disability. Legacy is a voluntary organisation supported by veterans, servicemen and women, and volunteers drawn from all walks of life. Their support and services now extend to include the dependants of members of today’s Australian Defence Force who lose their lives as a result of their military service.

Legacy also have an office in London that provides care for Australian War Widows in 37 countries. Many of these deserving families are unaware of our presence in Europe. If you are aware of any such families, please contact London Legacy. We are able to support Legacy throughout the year with donations and prize draws. If you too are to help please contact us or Legacy direct at

ANZAC Day Trip Styles