Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

In a county churchyard

It is a myth that all war dead are buried in a corner of a far-flung foreign field. War graves are all around us.

Almost every churchyard and cemetery in Leicestershire and Rutland is home to war graves for allies and foes alike from across the world.

The details of the war graves in your local churchyard are held centrally by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Their records show that almost 1,500 men and women are buried in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Each one of these war graves represents a personal tragedy and shows the full scale of world war. For example the churchyard at St. Nicholas in Cottesmore, has 89 war graves which include 27 airmen from Canada, 16 from Australia and three from New Zealand - young men who never went home.

In contrast, the small churchyard of St. Peter in Belton in Rutland has just one war grave - a village man who was killed in 1942.

War Graves in Leicestershire and Rutland.

 
WW I
WW II
UK Forces
705
786
Australian
7
19
Belgian
9
-
Canadian
14
41
Indian
1
-
Italian
-
7
New Zealand
1
8
South Africa
1
-
German
42
12
Total
780
873

Many of the First World War graves are of men and women who died after being treated in the General Hospital in Leicester which during the conflict admitted 95,000 officers and men in its 2,637 beds.

There were greater losses in the First World War but the larger number of Second World War graves in Leicestershire and Rutland represents the changing nature of warfare and in particular the air war.

Next time you are out walking in either the countryside or the suburbs take a detour through a local churchyard and take a moment to reflect at the sacrifice made by these young men and women.

Radio Leicester have a complete list of all the people buried in war graves in Leicestershire and Rutland. Can they help you? E-mail the BBC Radio Leicester team with your stories and questions.



We shall remember them

Each year on the anniversary of the Armistice in the Great War in 1918 - the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - we remember those that gave their lives for this country.

So many people have died in the service of the nation that almost every family has been touched by loss. Remembrance is a time when many of us begin a search to find out about our 'personal heroes' and if that includes you then at BBC Leicester we hope to get you started.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is the place to begin when looking for information about family members who died in the two World Wars of the last century. The Commission has a superb website and allows you to search their database for details about where people are buried and the more you can put into their search engine the better.

We have been given access to the names of those who died in the Leicestershire Regiment which lost almost 9,000 men in the two World Wars. The list for each war is alphabetical by surname so click on the letter you need. The entry for each name should give you enough detail to search the CWGC database.

About the Leicestershire Regiment

  • The Royal Leicestershire Regiment was formed 1688.
  • In 1777 it saw action in the American War of Independence.
  • Served in India between 1804 - 1823 from where it got its nickname of "The Tigers".
  • During the Great War (1914 - 1918) over 7,000 members of the Regiment were killed in France, Belgium and the Middle East.
  • During the Second World War (1939 - 1945) over 1,500 members of the Regiment were killed in Norway, Belgium, Italy, Greece and the Middle East.

The Leicestershire Regiment became part of The Royal Anglian Regiment in 1964. The CWGC does not have details about wars which were not "Commonwealth Conflicts" - for example the Gulf War and the Korean War which were United Nations actions.

However the BBC radio Leicester links page to other military websites and ex-forces websites should help you.


The BBC Radio Leicester team have compiled a database of all those men who died while serving with the Leicestershire Regiment. They have kindly supplied this database which is being expanded and made searchable. The database contains details of those who died during World War 1 and World War 2. Click below so access the database.
Friends of the War Memorials
War Memorials Trust
Main page
Commonweath War Graves Commission
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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