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Waitakere War graves inspected

War graves inspected

The head of the London-based Commonwealth War Graves Commission is currently in New Zealand as part of an eight-day nationwide inspection of war graves.

Commission Director-General, Richard Kellaway, visited Waikumete Cemetery – the country’s largest war cemetery – on February 7.

“Mr Kellaway spent about an hour looking at Waikumete’s 342 war graves, which are scattered throughout the cemetery,” says Waikumete Cemetery manager, Graham Resnick. “He was suitably impressed with what is being done to maintain the war graves, which have all been cleaned and re-lettered over the last two years.”

The commission was established in 1917 and is responsible for commemorating the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth Armed Forces who died during World War I and World War II. Costs are shared by partner governments in New Zealand, Australia, Britain, Canada, India and South Africa.

Mr Kellaway is the first senior commission representative to visit since similar inspections were carried out by deputy director-general Roger Dalley in 2000.

The periodic tours are designed to raise public awareness of the commission’s work and verify that New Zealand is maintaining its graves to a high standard.

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