During the two world wars, the United Kingdom became an island fortress used for training troops and launching land, sea and air operations around the globe. There are more than 170,000 Commonwealth war graves in the United Kingdom, many being those of servicemen and women killed on active service, or who later succumbed to wounds. Others died in training accidents, or because of sickness or disease. The graves, many of them privately owned and marked by private memorials, will be found in more than 12,000 cemeteries and churchyards.
A Royal Air Force station was established at Little Rissington in 1938 and during the Second World War, No 6 Flying Training School was stationed there, as was a Royal Artillery anti-aircraft battery. The village churchyard was used for burials from the station from the first, and contains pre- and post-war as well as 49 Second World War burials.