AN ADDLESTONE man has recently completed four months working as a Commonwealth War Graves Foundation intern after beating hundreds of other applicants to the post.

William Reid, 23, has been based at the Thiepval Memorial, on the battlefields of the Somme, which is the largest Commonwealth memorial to the missing in the world.

He has provided tours of the site, answered questions from visitors and helped them to find out more information about their own family history.

The memorial commemorates 72,000 men of British and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. It is also the location of 600 Commonwealth and French graves. 

In June, William attended the National Commemorations in Normandy, marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings. He met Second World War veterans and their families and helped them to discover more about the work of Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

William, who attended Heathside School in Weybridge, has a degree in Archaeology and a Masters in Cultural Heritage and Resource. He was asked to attend the opening of CWGC's new visitor centre, the CWGC Experience, in Arras, France, where he met Princess Anne.

William said: “My time as a CWGF Intern has, without a doubt, been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Nothing has given me more pleasure than using my passion for modern conflict history to help families ensure that the names and legacies of those who made the ultimate sacrifice ‘liveth for evermore’."

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For the full story get the 29 August edition of the News & Mail