Author: Jane Edwards

Politics is in the news!

All things political seem to be on the agenda at this time so we thought we would highlight a local politician buried in Brandwood End.  His name is probably not known to many but if you read on you may remember ELDRED HARRIS  in future.


Our thanks to our member and  Historian, Pat Franklin  for her input to this article.

FBEC are sharing this historical research as part of National Cemeteries week.

Charles Downes- the first burial in Brandwood End

As part of National Cemeteries week the Friends will be sharing some of our research that we have gathered over many years. A good place to start will be the first burial in Brandwood End, then a new cemetery in Kings Norton district.
Charles Downes – 5 years old – first burial in Brandwood End.
Grave 1 Section C1 C/E.
The cause of death was ‘Diphtheria 4 days’
His father, Walter William Downes was a Carpenter (journeyman) who was present at his little son’s death at 47 Runcorn Road, Balsall Heath on Tuesday 11th April 1899. Charles was buried four days later on Saturday 15th April.
The minister who conducted the burial service was Revd Charles William Barnard Vicar of St. Nicolas’ Kings Norton (1893-1909) in whose parish the Cemetery lay.
Brandwood End Cemetery was officially opened – there is a plaque on the West Chapel (CoE) – on Thursday 13thApril 1899 by Mr. George Tallis, the Chairman of the Kings Norton Parish Council Local Cemetery Committee.
Charles Downes grave is on the edge of the right hand public grave area and marked with a plain stake(Close to the Cross of Sacrifice). Bereavement staff have now placed a small plaque adjacent to the marker.

National Cemeteries Week

Starting tomorrow we will be highlighting Brandwood End as part of National Cemeteries Week. Over the week we will passing on lots of our research, reminding you of the extensive flora and fauna within the cemetery and pointing out some items of interest that may have passed you by.

On Tuesday 3rd we will be leading a small walk through the cemetery to give some background on its history. Numbers are limited but we do still have a couple of places. If you wish to attend please e mail to reserve a place to   Meet by the Lodge at 12.30pm.

To kick off the week can we recommend that you take part in this brilliant short project organised by Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust. You may remember we ran a superb Hedgehog project with them a couple of years ago.

City Nature Challenge 2022 | The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country (

Gallipoli Campaign Remembered

‘When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.’ Kohima Epitaph
24 APRIL 2022
This morning, in beautiful April sunshine and in partnership with the Gallipoli Association, FBEC supported a small gathering to remember all those lost as a result of the ill-fated WW1 Gallipoli Campaign.

This marks the second occasion when a Brandwood End Cemetery Gallipoli/ANZAC Commemoration has taken place and we were particularly delighted to be joined by Councillor Mike Leddy, representing Birmingham City Council.
Councillor Mike Leddy (Birmingham City Council), FBEC Chairman Julia Griffin and Vice Chairman Coral Howard joined John Bartlett (Royal Regiment of Fusiliers), Richard Millington (Warwickshire Yeomanry Association) and Ian Binnie (Gallipoli Association) to lay wreaths at the family grave of Private Horace Turner of 1st Warwickshire Yeomanry who died aged 22 on 30 August 1915 at Suvla Bay. Following the playing of the Last Post a 2 minute silence was observed.
As today was also Orthodox Easter day for both Ukraine and Russia we additionally remembered all those Ukrainians fighting for their freedom and the many thousands who have become casualties.
We will remember them.

Anzac Day 25th April 2022

The 25th April is Anzac Day. This is not a widely commemorated date in the UK but highly valued in many other countries.  If you would like to know more about what Anzac day means to many people then please follow the link below to a short video.

Our thanks to The Gallipoli Association who have invited the Friends to join them at a short Commemorative event on Sunday the 24th April in Brandwood End.

National Cemeteries Week 2022

NATIONAL CEMETERIES WEEK 2022 will be running from 30th April till 8th May this year. It is a chance for Cemeteries and their Friends Groups to shout about what they are doing in relation to the many aspects they are involved in- from Remembrance to biodiversity. During that week the Friends will be signposting you to items of interest in Brandwood End.  Watch this site and our notice boards within the cemetery for more information.

God’s Acre ‘Memorial Recording Project’

As the Spring takes over from Winter the project to record the memorials and their inscriptions in Brandwood End continues. 

This project, led by Caring for Gods Acre, has two parts to it at the moment. The first is to manually record the information and so far we have welcomed many volunteers to undertake this task. If you would like to get involved then you can sign up via this link.

The second part is to convert  this information into a digital record that can eventually be embedded in a map!  All very exciting. If you know your way around a computer key board, then maybe you could help with this very important task. Interested? Then sign up here.

Annual AGM

On the 7th of April the Friends held their Annual AGM, but this year it was a bit different as we were able to hold it in the Lodge at Brandwood End. Our thanks to all our members that attended and also to Dawn and her staff at Bereavement Services for their support to make this possible.

We have had a busy year and achieved a lot, as well as strengthening our links with other cemetery and history groups. Why not have a quick look at what we have been up to?

FBEC – AGM 2022 – our year 2021/22

It has been a year of highs and lows with Covid, but we also sadly lost Anne Courbet. Anne had been a founder member of the Friends and up until the last few weeks of her life she had still played a part in our organisation. We are pleased to say that her daughter, Sarah, has agreed to become a Patron of the Friends so the Courbet name will remain part of FBEC.

What will our next year bring?  Our Chairman’s report is also available via this link for those who couldn’t make the AGM. The Treasurers report will soon be available and posted via a link on this web site.