Every year on 9 June, Archivists around the world celebrate International Archive Day. It is a fantastic chance to share culturally significant collections held in all sorts of Archive repositories. This year’s theme is ‘Archives, Citizenship and Interculturalism’, something which we believe the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) can closely relate to.

In order to celebrate this year, the Archive team asked CWGC staff across the world to tell us which item in the collection is their favourite. We had some wonderful and varied responses to the extended shortlist we provided, with lots of thought going into the reasons why each document might be viewed as the most significant or interesting. A tough choice!

The CWGC has offices around the world as well as site- or region-specific staff, and responses ranged from staff in the UK at Head Office to France, Belgium, Italy, Cyprus, Canada, Pakistan and Thailand.

Below you will see which item(s) had the most votes, and some of the brilliant reasons for their choices.


While these were the winners, we had plenty of other contenders with excellent reasons for being chosen – including:

(Read more by clicking on an image)

The items mentioned here are just a small sample of the CWGC archives collection. Over the next few months we plan to make some of this material available through a new searchable archive catalogue on our website.

For those wishing the visit the archive in person, our reading room is open every week day 10am to 4.30 pm; if you would like to pursue a particular research interest, please contact enquiries@cwgc.org to get in touch and book a visit.

Thank you to all the CWGC staff who took part in the vote!