Linda and Steve Collins
I served 28 years in the RN, in the Fleet Air Arm, before we retired to live in France in November 2003. We live in the northern part of the Deux-Sevres department of France which is a department half way down towards the western coast, it is in the region of the Poitou-Charentes. The Poitou-Charentes covers 4 departments Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sevres and the Vienne. In February 2007 20 ex-military people got together and decided to form a new branch of the Royal British Legion in this area and I was one of those founding members. In 2008 I became Chairman and I wondered how many Commonwealth War Graves were in our geographical area which apart from the four departments mentioned also covers the Vendee department, the total area covered by our Branch is roughly the size of Wales and we now have 90 members. Having researched this project using the CWGC website I became aware of the large amount of graves in our area and also that there were very few photographs available on the website. Linda and I decided that we would go to each Cemetery and visit each War Grave, over the next 2 years, to take pictures and check current information found on the CWGC website. I heard about the request for photographs from the local Royal Air Force Association here in France.
The project relies solely on volunteer help. If you believe you can help in any way (photographing, admin, sponsorship, etc) then please contact us. If you would like to help with the photography please download the Guidance and Volunteer policy PDF via link on the volunteers page.