Gary cares for war graves

By IW Apr 24, 2022

An Isle of Wight man has received an award from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

Gary Newman was recognised for his work and for going above and beyond as a volunteer for the CWGC. He received the prestigious Spotlight award, along with a letter from the CWGC’s director general, Claire Horton, congratulating him and thanking him for his work. He said: “I served in the medical branch of the Royal Navy for more than 35 years. At one time I was involved in preparing the fallen for their final return home from Afghanistan.

When I left that helped inspire me to volunteer with the CWGC, along with having quite a few relatives from the Island who fell in WWI and WWII, including my paternal grandfather who is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.”

Gary is one of four Island volunteers to help across 12 sites, caring for 214 graves. He will be involved in this year’s War Graves Week, titled ‘Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times’, which takes place from May 21-28. This provides a chance for residents to explore the war graves on their doorstep, with planned talks and tours.

Gary said: “I very much enjoy my work for the CWGC and now the weather is improving, I am looking forward to getting out on the ground and visiting the lads and lasses in my care.”

To find out more about the commission’s work and War Graves Week go to