Chichester volunteer receives award for his outstanding work with Commonwealth War Graves Commission

A man from Chichester has been praised for his lifetime of service to both country and community and has received a prestigious award from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

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Ian Howard who volunteers for the CWGC, was given a Spotlight Award and received a letter of congratulation from CWGC’s Director General, Claire Horton.

Mr Howard’s life has been dedicated to serving the armed forces and community. Ian’s father served in the Royal Navy and his grandfather was part of the Royal Flying Corps which evolved into the Royal Air Force. Mr Howard himself first served in the British Army and then went on to have a career in the Fire Brigade for over thirty years.

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Ian is now a battlefield guide and volunteers for CWGC as speaker and tour guide across various locations in West Sussex and Hampshire, including Brighton and Southampton. Recently he ran free tours for War Graves Week, the annual spotlight on our war graves and memorials around the world.

Ian said: “I have always had a passion for history and military history in particular. I have always felt a need to tell the stories of those people who rest under a headstone or are recorded on a memorial. It was a great honour to receive a Spotlight Award, I really enjoy volunteering for CWGC as I get to meet some amazing people, tell the story of the CWGC, and the stories of those we remember and commemorate.”

CWGC’s Director General, Claire Horton, said: “I am delighted to share the news of our Volunteer special recognition, Spotlight Awards, in Volunteers’ Week, which is a time to both celebrate the outstanding contribution of our volunteers, and to showcase their work to inspire others who might be thinking of volunteering.

“CWGC's UK-wide network of dedicated volunteers, absolutely epitomise our values and continually support our mission of keeping the memories of the fallen alive through a wide range of roles, committing hours of their time and energy freely, with passion and boundless enthusiasm. I and CWGC staff teams everywhere, are enormously grateful for their contribution. We want our volunteers to know how valued and appreciated they are, and Volunteers Week gives us a chance to do that publicly.”

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The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s mission is to ensure those who died in service, or as a result of conflict, are commemorated so that they, and the human cost of war, are remembered for ever.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is a global leader in commemoration. Founded by Royal Charter in 1917, we work on behalf of the Governments of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom to commemorate the 1.7 million men and women from the Commonwealth who lost their lives in the two World Wars.

We believe that remembering individuals who have died in conflicts is of universal, perpetual relevance, and that reflecting on their deaths is of continuing and paramount importance for us all.

The cemeteries, memorials, graves, landscapes, and records in our care will be found at 23,000 locations and in more than 150 countries and territories. They are both the practical means of our commemoration of the fallen and vehicles for discovery, inspiration, and engagement.We believe that each one of those we commemorate were people like us, with their own ambitions, hopes, and dreams. It is our duty and privilege to care for their graves and memorials and through our charitable Foundation, keep their stories alive.