The final burial and rededication services of the year have taken place, but the work doesn’t stop there for the commemorations team within the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), part of Defence Business Services…
In fact, the team are equally active between November and March before they travel across the globe ensuring the services currently planned for those who lost their lives during the 2 World Wars are held with the dignity and honour that they rightly deserve, there are approximately 500,000 fallen servicemen still undiscovered.
Despite up to a century passing since they fell the remains of British servicemen are still found today, often in farmers’ fields or following civil engineering works. When discoveries are made, the team start the journey of attempting to identify the individual, trace their living relatives before organising a full military funeral service in commemoration.
Due to accessibility to research material and the popularity of family genealogy, the team has witnessed a rise in the number of rededication cases submitted identifying previously unknown graves.
These last 12 months will live long in the memories of those dedicated few who make up the small team of Gloucester-based ‘war detectives’ a term now regularly used to describe the work of the commemorations team. It was anticipated that this year was going to be demanding with the centenary of the end of WW1, however the scale of public interest surpassed all expectation.