John visits war graves as part of WW1 centenary

John visited war graves at Wath Cemetery with Stephen Stapleton, regional supervisor for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, as part of the World War One centenary commemorations.

Twelve WW1 and seven WW2 casualties are commemorated at Wath.

2014 marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, and this year is the start of a four-year programme of local, national and international events to commemorate the events that took place between 1914 and 1918.

More than 16 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives in the conflict, including 9 million military casualties on all sides.

Around 900,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed, including some 20,000 alone on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

There are over 13,000 war graves and memorials in the UK, commemorating over 300,000 men and women who lost their lives whilst serving for Britain during both World Wars.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission say there are 193 WW1 war graves and 182 from WW2 in Rotherham. Barnsley has 217 from WW1 and 204 from WW2.

Mr Healey said: “The centenary commemorations provide an important opportunity for us to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of those who laid down their lives during WW1, and to reflect on the wider social change the war brought about.

“We do so mindful of those who have fought and died in other conflicts since 1918, and those who continue to serve us today.”

Designated grants – from £3,000 to £100,000 – are available from the Heritage Lottery Fund to fund events and community projects across the country to commemorate WW1. More details and how to apply can be found here