Category: Community

Rosh Hashanah

Spare a thought for all our friends and supporters in the Jewish Community as this weekend will be a very unusual Rosh Hashanah for them all ! Literally meaning “head of the year” Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and the two-day celebration will take place from sundown on Friday September 18 to nightfall on Sunday September 20.


This festival marks the start of the High Holy Days also known as the ‘Days of Awe’- a time for family, friends and personal reflection. Usual celebrations will see families and friends spend time together, pray, listen to the sound of the Shofar (the ram’s horn) and eat special food such as eating apples dipped in honey to mark a sweet and fruitful new year. Pomegranates, honey cake and round challah bread are also eaten.

We recognise that this year Covid 19 restrictions will have a considerable impact on household celebrations and how families will be able to mark this important occasion.   However we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Jewish friends, colleagues and neighbours a ‘shanah tovah u’metukah’ – “a good and sweet new year”.

Covid precautions!

Litter picks take on a whole new regime in these Covid aware times. Pre litter pick we need to make sure we have all the relevant notifications for attendees to read, and test and trace paperwork ready for everyone to complete.(As well as emailing and social media sharing!)

Following a socially distanced ‘pick’ everything needs to be washed or thoroughly cleaned! All adding time and effort- but all essential in these weird times. Thanking you all for taking care during our event.

How about a Civilian Garden ‘blast from the past’?

It’s nice, now and then, to look back at previous events. In our early days the Friends had a photo album with This is a link to our 2007 opening of the Civilian Garden. Sadly, many of the people featured are no longer with us. Thankfully, allowing for several renovations and re modelling, the Garden itself is still very vibrant, as you can see above.


Remembering VJ Day

The 75th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan) will be recognised on 15 August 2020 commemorating the final end of the Second World War.

This anniversary is rarely ‘celebrated’ publicly as widely as VE Day but it was, never the less, just as important for many reasons.

If you would like to know more about what is planned, then follow this link.

On August 6th, at 8.15 a.m. Japanese time, the United States dropped the atomic bomb ‘little boy’ on Hiroshima and on August 9th at 11.02 a.m., dropped the bomb ‘fat man’ on Nagasaki. This resulted in the Japanese formally surrendering to the Allies on August 15th.

This was made official on September 2nd 1945 with the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.


A joint anniversary

On Monday 20th July, the Friends held a small event to place a summer wreath at the Cross of Sacrifice to mark 90 years since its inauguration, and also 15 years of work by the Friends.

The opening photograph shows our founding Chairman, Anne Courbet, alongside our existing Chairman, Julia Griffin- social distancing of course! Follow this link to see photographs from the day. We were especially pleased to see Tony Purcell,  who leads the local ground staff in their work at Brandwood End, and kindly arranged access for the Commonwealth War Graves stone masons to refurbish the Cross and walls in this special year. (Not easy to arrange in these strange ‘Covid’ times.

‘Cut back’ for War Grave hedge.

We have well over 200 Commonwealth War Graves scattered around Brandwood End but for some reason there are a small group of them together just near our Civilian Garden of Remembrance, so some years ago we planted a hedge as a form of demarcation. During Lock down it had become rather wild and unkempt….maybe like some of us! Today some of us took it in hand!

This is what we found……



But with a snip here and there it now looks a little neater.


Cancelled Litter Pick

The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery should have been holding their quarterly litter pick this Sunday coming but, under the present circumstances, we have decided to cancel it. It is probable that it would involve a group of more than 6 people, most of whom would fall into vulnerable categories! We hope to be able to ask for your support for our next litter pick on Saturday 5th September.

Members of the committee will be visiting the cemetery as and when possible and litter picking but fortunately, due to lockdown and reduced visitors, there is very little litter.

If you are visiting a grave can we ask you to remove any flower paper from flowers you may be leaving and take it with you. As the flowers dry in the sun they become light weight and the wind carries the paper around the cemetery.

If you are leaving artificial flowers please ensure they are well secured, as in high winds these blow around the area and then get cut by the ride on movers into confetti !

Finally, can we ask you not to leave any unattended lighted candles, even in jars, whilst everywhere is tinder dry.

The Friends thank you for helping them keep Brandwood End a welcoming and safe place for all.