War Graves Commission staff in Leamington fear job losses

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

Leamington employees at the national headquarters for the War Graves Commission are facing a bleak future as proposals to close the office are put forward.

As the nation gears up for four years of commemorations for the centenery of the First World War, the commission - which is responsible for maintaining military graves across Europe - is considering relocating its national headquarters on the Sydenham industrial estate to the European headquarters in Maidenhead.

A member of staff, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the Courier: “We have been told that all the clerical staff - between 12 and 15 people - will lose their jobs.

“Some of them are being offered a chance to work in Maidenhead, but none of them will go. Many of them have young children.

“The maintenance staff need the support of the clerical staff. It’s going to be a nightmare. The commission hasn’t looked into the logistics.

“The staff are all very upset. Some of them have done more than 20 years and they are a tight unit and good at what they do.”

Peter Francis, press officer for the commission, said: “We are in the middle of a consultation process with the unions and our colleagues.

“The commission is looking at the options available to ensure that we can maintain the 170,000 war graves here in the UK in the most efficient manner as we approach the centenery of the First World War. More information will be available once this process has been complete.”