LEIGH MP Andy Burnham is urging people to visit commonwealth war graves.

He wants schools and constituents to gain a greater understanding of the scale and magnitude of the Great War and the impact that it has had on today’s society by visiting the graves.

Mr Burnham visited graves at three different cemeteries, Lowton St Mary`s, Lowton St Luke’s and Leigh Cemetery.

Andy Burnham said: “The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a time, not just for reflection and commemoration, but also an opportunity to educate a new generation of young people about the extraordinary events of a hundred years ago and to bring to life some of the personal stories from this remarkable time.

“Working together gives us all an opportunity to explore how we would like to secure this legacy for generations to come.

"Visiting the graves of the fallen is a simple but profoundly important way to commemorate the outbreak of the war.”

The call follows a national initiative spearheaded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), the All-Party Parliamentary War Heritage Group and the ‘In From The Cold Project’ that maps over 300,000 Commonwealth war dead by each Parliamentary constituency.

Chris Hawes of CWGC who accompanied Mr Burnham on his tour said: “The centenary is an opportune time for us to re-engage and connect with communities and young people and explain how the people who are buried in our graves got to be there, who they were, and where they were from.

“More than 300,000 Commonwealth servicemen and women are commemorated in the UK.

“Many died in military hospitals whilst being treated for their wounds or fell victim to the flu pandemic as the conflict drew to a close.

“Their graves reflect both the local impact of the war but also its wider historical significance.”