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.
The regimental depots of the Royal Hampshire Regiment, the Rifle Brigade and the King's Royal Rifle Corps were at Winchester during both wars.
Winchester (Magdalen Hill) Cemetery contains burials of both wars, mostly in the war graves plot, the rest scattered throughout the cemetery. The remains of 500 American servicemen were removed from the cemetery and returned to the United States after the First Word War.
The cemetery now contains 37 First World War Commonwealth burials and 65 from the Second World War.