Victoria Wallace becomes first woman to lead the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Posted on on 22 October 2014
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Victoria Wallace became the first woman Director General of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) when she took up her post on October 20th 2014.

She takes charge of an organisation that cares for cemeteries and memorials of the 1.7 million people who died in the two world wars. These graves are spread across 23,000 locations, in 153 countries. 

Victoria Wallace said: "It's a great joy to be coming to this extraordinary organisation at a time of unprecedented interest in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's work.

"Visitor numbers to our major cemeteries and memorials have increased massively in the last twelve months as a result of the Centenary of the Great War.

"But we have more work to do to help those visitors understand the historical significance of our sites and encourage them to visit the lesser known war graves and memorials we care for.

"The Commission, its work and its team have a rightly-deserved reputation for excellence amongst those who know about us. But that is far too few people.  We want the world to value what we do.

Victoria Wallace added: "We need to seek greater recognition, and be proud of what we have achieved for nearly a century. And with the Commissioners and the senior team, I am now starting to look at the next hundred years, and how we take our mission, to ensure that our war dead are never forgotten, into the future."

Victoria joins the CWGC from the Leeds Castle Foundation and Enterprises. Prior to that, she was Justices' Chief Executive at Sussex Magistrates' Courts from 2000-2004 and has held various posts within the Foreign and Commonwealth Diplomatic Service in Tanzania, Thailand, and Belgium.  She is also a Council member of the Association for Independent Museums.

Victoria Wallace takes over from Brian Davidson, who's been Acting Director General since Alan Pateman-Jones stood down in July 2014.

Information and images supplied by  Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Posted by: Ellen Tranter, Centenary News