Eyes On, Hands On | Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted

Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted

Eyes On, Hands On

CWGC logo

In Rectory Lane Cemetery we run a popular “Adopt a Grave” scheme, where supporters can volunteer to look after some of the many “forgotten” graves in the cemetery. In addition to this, the Commonwealth War Graves (CWGC) have recently launched a UK-wide initiative to monitor and care for the thousands of war graves scattered all over the country.

The CWGC’s Eyes On, Hands On Project trains and coordinates teams of volunteers, and allocates local war grave sites. Volunteers visit their war graves every 6 to 8 months to take photographs and report on the state of each headstone listed – this is the “Eyes On” aspect of the scheme.

If it looks like a CWGC headstone is in need of additional care, the CWGC may then move to the “Hands On” part of the project, which can involve clearing weeds or cleaning a headstone. All “Hands On” work must be carried out with the specialist advice of a CWGC Project Co-ordinator.

The Eyes On, Hands On Project also monitors private memorials – war graves that have not got an official CWGC headstone – but clearing or cleaning private memorials is outside the scope of the project.

Here in Rectory Lane Cemetery, we have 27 war graves that are being monitored by CWGC as part of the Eyes On, Hands On Project. Their graves mark the final resting place of men who fell during or as a result of service during the First and Second World Wars – 14 from the First World War and 13 from the Second.

CWGC volunteers are also encouraged to find out more about the life stories of those whose graves they are visiting. The Rectory Lane Cemetery website already offers a comprehensive database of burials, but we always welcome additions to our online biographies.

How to get involved

To find out more about the Eyes On, Hands On Project, visit our special Care for War Graves page.  If you are interested in volunteering for the CWGC, visit their website at


The Commonwealth War Graves Eyes On, Hands On Project is sponsored by Annington Homes

Related content