Fabian Ware

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Sir
Fabian Arthur Goulstone Ware
KCVO KBE CB CMG
Fabian Ware.jpg
Born (1869-06-17)17 June 1869
Clifton, Bristol
Died 29 April 1949(1949-04-29) (aged 79)
Amberley, Gloucestershire
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Rank Major General

Major General Sir Fabian Arthur Goulstone Ware KCVO KBE CB CMG (17 June 1869 – 29 April 1949) was the founder of the Imperial War Graves Commission, now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Early life[edit]

Memorial to Fabian Ware in Gloucester Cathedral

Born at Clifton, Bristol, he attended the Universities of London and Paris, obtaining a Bachelier-es-Sciences at the latter in 1894. He then spent ten years as an assistant master at several secondary schools, and as an occasional examiner for the Civil Service Commission and Inspector of Schools to the Board of Education.

In 1899 he started writing articles for the Morning Post. He became the representative of the Education Committee of the Royal British Commission at the Exposition Universelle (1900). He then obtained a job as Assistant Director of Education in the Transvaal, where two years later he was promoted to Acting Director of Education for the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony. Shortly afterwards he was made Director of Education on the Transvaal Legislative Council under Viscount Milner. Returning to Britain in 1905, he was appointed editor of the Morning Post, where he remained until 1911 when he became a director of Rio Tinto Limited.

First World War[edit]

When the First World War started in August 1914 he attempted to join the British Army but was rejected because he was too old, and so with the assistance of Lord Milner, he obtained command of a mobile ambulance unit provided by the British Red Cross Society. He was soon struck by the lack of an official mechanism for marking and recording the graves of those killed. He set about changing this by founding an organisation to do this, and in 1915 both he and his organisation were transferred from the Red Cross to the Army.[1] By October 1915, the new Graves Registration Commission had over 31,000 graves registered, and 50,000 by May 1916.[2]

War Graves Commission[edit]

As the war continued, Ware became concerned about the fate of the graves after the war. With the help of Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1917, he submitted a memorandum on the subject to the Imperial War Conference. On 21 May 1917, the Imperial War Graves Commission was created by a Royal Charter, with the Prince of Wales as its President and Ware as its Vice-Chairman, a role that Ware held until his retirement in 1948.

In 1937 he published an account of the work of the commission called The Immortal Heritage. The outbreak of the Second World War saw him appointed Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries at the War Office, whilst continuing in his role as Vice-Chairman of the Commission.

He died at home at Amberley, Gloucestershire shortly after his retirement and is buried in the local Holy Trinity Churchyard. His grave has a CWGC-style headstone and is maintained by the commission. There are also memorial tablets to him in the Warrior's Chapel at Westminster Abbey and in Gloucester Cathedral.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Major General Sir Fabian Ware". Ministry of Defence Veterans Agency. Retrieved 17 September 2006. 
  2. ^ "Records". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 17 September 2006. 
Media offices
Preceded by
Spenser Wilkinson
Editor of the Morning Post
1905–1911
Succeeded by
Howell Gwynne