A SERVICE whistle last used on the battlefields of the Somme a century ago was sounded to launch a new charity created to keep the memory of fallen Servicemen and women alive.

The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation was created by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission –  which preserves the records, graves and memorials of 1.7 million men and women who died during the two world wars – and will take the work to a much wider audience by offering hands-on opportunities to get involved in various projects.

Foundation ambassadors Lewis Moody, ex-England rugby captain, and author Martina Cole both attended the launch at Tower Hill Memorial, London, which featured a live performance of Fallen Soldier – a song written by Frederick Forsyth as a lament for soldiers who did not return from the battlefield..

Lewis Moody’s great-grandfather fought with the Royal Sussex infantry during the First World War, and Martina Cole’s father was a merchant seaman in the Second World War.

The Hon Ros Kelly, chair of the new Foundation, said: “A century after the First World War, and 75 years since the Second, we need to answer a difficult question – how can we expect a younger generation to remember those they could never have known? 

“The answer was to create a new charity, the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation, whose mission it is to tell the stories of those who died, and help keep their memories alive.”

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