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Sir Tim Laurence: ‘a privilege’ to work with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Princess Royal’s husband has spoken of his ”enormous admiration and respect” for all those involved in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as his time as its Vice Chair comes to an end. Sir Tim Laurence, who has been involved with the CGWC for eight years, had special words of praise for those who look after the cemeteries for the commission, saying they did a ”fantastic job”.

Sir Tim, who rarely speaks in public, gave an interview to the CWGC to mark the end of his time in the role of Vice Chair. Talking during a visit to a cemetery at Bayeux in Normandy, France, he said that ‘‘it’s been the most wonderful privilege to be part of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for the last eight or nine years and I’ve hugely enjoyed it”.

Just last week, he was in northern France to see his wife, Princess Anne, officially open the CGWC’s new visitor’s centre at Beaurains which will help explain and demonstrate the ongoing work of the organisation which was set up during World War One with the aim of commemorating all those who have lost their lives in armed conflict. The CGWC has since set up over 2,500 cemeteries and memorials across over 150 countries.

During his interview, Sir Tim reflected on the changes that had taken place at the Commission in his time there. He underlined the importance of telling others about the ongoing work of the organisation, saying ”there is a need to explain, particularly to future generations, what we are doing, why we are doing it and the importance of it”. 

Sir Tim joined the commission in 2011 and became its Vice Chair in 2016. Commissioners are appointed for a four year term with the option for that to be renewed for another four years. Sir Tim has been succeeded as Vice Chair by Sir Bill Rollo.

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