Following on from the statement from the CWGC which confirms that a war grave is for those who died from the result of war
and not just for those with a CWGC headstone ** (that is - it is the manner of the loss of life rather than the memorial stone on the grave which determines war grave status) I hope the reason behind the appeal from the Commission for relatives of the fallen listed on the website to come forward has become clear.
From"Keeping Names Alive" on the website:
One of the most important aspects of our work is ensuring that the names of all Commonwealth Servicemen and women are legible. A damaged or eroded panel or headstone, a name that cannot be read is unacceptable, which is why we have a rolling programme of inspections of headstones and memorials.
This is not new, and yes, as you say, I'm sure they have their work cut out for years, but with continuing weathering it is a rolling programme not a finite one.
This does not apply to the gravestones on private graves where a family member who warrants a war grave is commemorated on the gravestone but not buried in the grave.
The CWGC responsibility is for the commemoration where the body lies.
The CWGC inspects all the war graves in the UK.
Where the name is on a private gravestone, and can easily be read, all is well.
Where they see a name on a private gravestone which cannot be read
they will take steps to arrange for this to be put right (with the addition of a CWGC stone) or, if there is no stone at all, they will place one of their own there, but they cannot progress without the permission of the grave owners.
Cemeteries have the names and addresses of the original owners of the graves but if the families have not updated these records, as the owners have passed away, attempts to trace the current owners often fail.
The lists on the CWGC website, as I see it, are an extension of previous failed attempts to trace the current owners of these graves.
All within the remit of the CWGC.
See #69 of this thread