Author: Jane Edwards

Dry and sunny for 2019 Remembrance Event

Today’s Remembrance event was very well attended. Representatives of West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, Local Councillors, The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB), the Catholic Women’s League, FBEC and members of the local Beaver Pack all laid Wreaths at the Cross of Sacrifice.

Deacon David Fairbotham gave a short thought provoking Service of Remembrance and the Wreath Laying was preceded by a Bugler and 2 minutes silence.

 

Everyone then processed down the main Drive to the WW1 Memorial, where further wreaths were laid.

Our thanks to everyone that attended this event. We have collected a few photographs via this link should you wish to see more.

 

 

Wet, but colourful Tree Walk !

Ranger, Dean Paul, led a Tree Walk through the cemetery today despite the heavy rain.

Considering how cold and wet it was there was a good turn out of 11 hardy individuals, but the weather didn’t detract from the glorious colours displayed by the trees and the knowledge imparted by Dean.

We also spotted some amazing fairy rings of fungi.

2019 marks the Centenary of Remembrance.

The annual tradition that first took place in 1919 to pay tribute to the war dead.

Although the First World War was brought to a close by a ceasefire – the Armistice – on 11 November 1918 – the final peace treaty was signed more than seven months later, on 28 June 1919.

As that moment approached, the Government’s thoughts turned to how to commemorate both an international victory and the impact of so many lives lost on foreign soil. More than 1.1 million soldiers who had been born in Britain and elsewhere in the Empire died in the ‘Great War’. Half of these have no known grave and few were buried on home soil.

A Peace Committee chaired by Lord Curzon, Foreign Secretary, declared Saturday 19th July 1919 a Bank Holiday and outlined a celebration running over four days, including a Victory March through London, a day of Thanksgiving services, a river pageant, and a day of popular festivities.

Numerous representatives of the allied nations were in attendance and the Peace March was one of the most impressive spectacles ever witnessed by Londoners and the world. Nearly 15,000 troops took part in the march, led by the victorious Allied commanders.

The Cenotaph – July 1919

The idea was conceived to erect a temporary memorial structure in Whitehall to be the end point of the great procession where the march would pause to honour the dead.  Edwin Lutyens, at the request of the then Prime Minister Lloyd George, designed and built the Cenotaph (literally ‘Empty Tomb’ in Greek) which was a wood and plaster construction.

At its unveiling by King George V, the base of the monument was spontaneously covered in wreaths to the dead and missing from The Great War and such was the extent of public enthusiasm for the construction it was decided that The Cenotaph should become a permanent and lasting memorial.   Re-made from Portland stone, its inscription reading simply “The Glorious Dead” and unveiled by King George V on 11th November 1920 just as the ‘Unknown Warrior’ was borne past en route to burial in Westminster Abbey, the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, has since played host to the Remembrance Service for the past nine decades.

Inspirational staff at Brandwood End.

The Army made a start on the clearance of the Holly but the baton has been taken up by the Ground Staff !

This has been such a daunting task to undertake but spurred on by the inroads that ‘202’ made on one section Tony, Alan and John have now attacked the remaining Holly setters along the main drive. The result is amazing! Watch this site for updated ‘clearance’ photographs.

 

Annual Catholic Blessing of the Graves.

A number of visitors to the cemetery have contacted us about the notices on the trees concerning the event below. Can we emphasise that this has nothing to do with the Annual Remembrance Service which will happen on Sunday 10th November at 10.50am. The ‘Blessing’  does also occur every November as part of ‘All Souls’ events.

On Sunday the 3rd November (2pm), Brandwood End Cemetery will be crowded with people attending the Blessing of the Graves. PLEASE WALK INTO THE CEMETERY if at all possible as the number of cars mean that there is nowhere to park. Please keep the main drive free of parked cars (as far as the chapels) for safety reasons and also to allow access to Clergy.

Please don’t be one of the people that argue with any staff present and demand that ‘you’ are the exception!

 

 

Welcome back British Army 202(Midlands Field Hospital) volunteers.

The Friends were pleased to welcome back on site 20 members of the Armed Forces 202 Field Hospital under the command of Major Harry Wallace.

They came on a mission to uncover 4 specific Commonwealth War Graves that had become totally enveloped by shrubbery and to clean and weed a large number of others.

Luckily for us they felt they had some more of their precious time to share so spent a further few hours clearing the metre high self set Holly area on one of the sections.(There are still at least 2 more similar areas in the cemetery)

Whilst in the cemetery ‘202’ also made time to visit, and place Poppy Crosses on, our small War Grave area and beneath our screen walls.

                                        

I am sure, if you visit, the improvement after the removal of the holly will be obvious- but here are some before and after photographs.

Ivy is notoriously hard to remove and these areas have now been cut back, revealing many graves that have been hidden for several years.

 

 

 

 

This is just a small portion of the area that they cleared !

 

 

Our thanks to them all for their enthusiasm and ‘can do’ attitude. Lets hope we can welcome them again to Brandwood End.

 

 

Another ‘brick in the wall’!

Not quite a ‘brick’ but certainly- in the wall…of the chapels.

We have Mark Brady of STONESET MEMORIAL MASONS to thank for bringing this plaque back to its original condition. Over the last 121 years the writing had become indistinct and difficult to read. Mark undertook this work as a ‘labour of love’ and I am sure you will agree that it now cuts a dash on the chapel wall.

 

Remembrance Service -10th November 2019

This years Remembrance Service in Brandwood End will take place on Sunday 10th November.

Please arrive in time for a 10.50am start. The Service usually concludes by 11.15am.

The main service will commence at the Cross of Sacrifice on the main drive and conclude at the WW1 War Memorial (Also on the main drive)

We look forward to welcoming you all.