A Worksop teenager has beaten hundreds of applicants to become a war graves commission intern – working at some of the most important sites commemorating those who died in the two World Wars.
After landing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Will Parkinson is set to travel, live and work across Belgium and France with the Commonwealth War Graves Commissio n this summer.
He will eventually act as a paid guide at a number of iconic CWGC sites- including Tyne Cot and Bedford House cemeteries near Ieper in Belgium, and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme in France.
Will said: “I applied to become an intern because I admired the efforts the Commission made to educate and inform the public about those that lost their lives during the wars. Thanks to their work more people are able to pay their respects to the fallen as well as discover the remarkable stories behind the headstones.
“The projects that the CWGC have been involved with have moved and inspired me into learning more about the soldiers, as well as my own family history, so once I discovered the internship opportunity it was something I immediately wanted to be a part of.
“It is a chance to properly engage with these incredible stories whilst moving and inspiring others to do the same, and I am eager to get started.”
Liz Sweet, the CWGC’s director of External Relations in Western Europe, said: “The numbers of people visiting our cemeteries and memorials is at an all-time high. But with the passage of time, many of those visitors are looking to the CWGC to provide more information about those who died, the wider history of the two world wars, and the work we do to care for such places.
“We were seeking the brightest and best of their generation to enrich that visitor experience and Will is part of a programme that makes a real difference to those visitors.”
The CWGC Centenary Internship has been funded by a Government grant and is now supported by the CWGC’s new charity- The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation.
Members of the public can join and support the Foundation via our website at www.cwgc.org