Author: Jane Edwards

Shout out for help at Jasmin Fields.

Jasmin Fields Nature reserve lies just across Broad Lane from the Cemetery and we try and support each other when we can. The Chinnbrook runs through their site and along with wetland comes Himalayan Balsam- a pretty but invasive plant.

This Sunday the 19th June at 2pm there will be a work party to help remove as much as we can. Thankfully it is easy to remove and the only kit required is stout footwear….and gloves.

Meet at the Farm gate in Bayston Avenue facing Kinsey Grove


Nesting birds are our first concern.

Its the time of year when our Civilian Garden hedge starts to look a lot like no one cares for it ! We do care for this very successful Hawthorn hedge and normally it is kept trim, but during nesting season every year DEFRA outlaw the cutting of hedges that may disturb nesting birds.  Our hedge is full of small nests and ‘little brown birds’ and if you sit quietly on one of our benches you will see them scurrying in and out.

The Garden is still cared for and some of our supporters have been busy elsewhere in the garden weeding beds and paths and planting Geraniums in our Rose beds. Our thanks to all concerned.



Commonwealth War Grave area progresses.

Those of you that follow our posts will know that several months ago the Commonwealth War Graves Commission  re laid new turf in a small War Grave area adjacent to the main drive. This area is home to 8 of our 352 War Graves. Why these 8 are here together no one seems to know. Bereavements are mystified and so are the CWGC. The refreshing of this area has continued with the grass now lush and  the addition of new perennial flowers at the foot of each stone. Looking good.

Heritage Forum meeting.

The Friends are members of the Heritage Forum and often our meetings are at member organisation sites.

  • Today we met at New Hall Mill in Sutton Coldfield. Their volunteers made us all very welcome and we were treated to a private tour of this amazing site. Watch out for their open days as it is certainly worth visiting. 

So sad to see Alan go !

Alan Holmes – Brandwood End Cemetery Operative

FBEC only ever had to ask ….. whether it was – tidying the inside of the chapels July 2019  and Sept 20219 so we could finally go inside, clearing holly from special graves for us Oct 2019 or jet washing the Lodge railings May 2022 for us for the Jubilee planting and celebration. FBEC send you every good wish Alan on your retirement – Good Luck and Thank you – June 2022.

Alan, on the left below, with colleagues and Jane from FBEC after he had been clearing the interior of the chapels to allow access to the Friends to view the recently installed windows.


Stirchley baths..

Well not exactly. We had a great welcome at Stirchley History Group as we gave a talk in the former ‘baths’ building…. Now a community hub. We look forward to seeing everyone again, maybe at one of our events.




!00 years of the Poppy

5 June 1922 – 5 June 2022

Over 100 years the Poppy has evolved but remains an enduring symbol of Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future.

Red poppies have been worn as a show of support for the Armed Forces community since the formation of The Poppy Factory in 1922.  The Charity was founded by Major George Howson MC, a British Army officer who was awarded the Military Cross in 1917. George Howson’s vision was to provide employment for veterans injured during the First World War.:

The Royal British Legion wanted to buy Remembrance poppies made in Britain and George Howson proposed that the poppies should be made by disabled war veterans in the United Kingdom.   The Legion agreed and in May 1922 it gave Howson £2,000 to establish a poppy making factory.

The first poppy factory opened on 5th June 1922 in two rooms at Mitchell’s collar factory near Old Kent Road, South London.

In a normal year, 40,000 collectors with tins sell more than 35million poppies and raise around £50million for the British Legion charity.


100 years of history – The Poppy Factory it