AN internship is an exciting proposition in itself but for Amy Harrison it has been a great honour and opportunity of a lifetime.

Amy, 24, was chosen from hundreds of applicants this year to become a Commonwealth War graves Foundation (CWGF) intern.

this meant working with the CWGC in Belgium at some of the most important sites commemorating those who died in both the First and Second World Wars.

The former pupil at both Tiptree’s Thurstable School and Colchester Sixth Form College has, as a result of the role, was based at the largest of the CWGF’s cemeteries in the world, the Tyne Cot War cemetery, for four months.

This is the final resting place for 11,900 Commonwealth serviceman and also holds the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing commemorating 35,000 British and New Zealand soldiers who sadly have no grave.

She explains it is here she has, as part of her role, welcomed visitors of all ages and nationalisties, taking them on tours of the site, answering questions and helping them discover more about their own family history.

Based in the Belgian City of Ieper, Amy has also supported visitors to CWGC’s Menin Gate Memorial which commemorates 54,000 soldiers who died before August 16 1917 and have no known grave.

In the CWGC Information Centre, meters from the memorial, Amy has also given talks to members of the public.

In June she attended the reburial of an Unknown Soldier of the Great War in Bethune Town Cemetery, in France and on the same day was at a Rededication ceremony for a soldier buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery who had been identified.

Amy, who is studying for a PhD in history at Kent University, says this was a very moving experience which gave her an insight into the ongoing work of the CWGC.

The CWGF Internship itself was launched for its 100th anniversary in 2017 and originally funded by a LIBOR grant from the UK Government.

It is now supported by the CWGC’s new charity – The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation.

Geert Bekaert, of the CWGC, explains: “We welcome hundreds of thousands visitors to our cemeteries and memorials in Belgium every year, but with the passage of time, many of those visitors are looking to the CWGC to provide more information about those who died, the wider history of the two world wars, and the work we do to care for such places.

“We are delighted to have young people such as Amy on site to be able to guide our visitors and enriching their experience.”

Speaking about her experience, Amy says: “This internship has been an amazing opportunity which I would strongly encourage others to apply for.

“It has been an eye-opening to see behind the scenes of the Commission’s work and to be able to play a part in bringing their work to a wider audience.

“I feel proud to have played a role at the largest CWGC cemetery in the world and to have spoken to so many people.”

Applications for the 2020 programme open later this year at