Category: Events

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.

Enjoyable Tree Walk, despite the weather!

Despite the damp and drizzle over 16 folks turned up to The Lodge at 11am yesterday to join BCC Park Ranger Dean Paul’s excellent 2 hour plus ‘tree and cemetery walk’.

Combining his extensive knowledge of Brandwood Cemetery from his previous role as a member of the ground maintenance/grave team with his current role as a City Park Ranger for South Birmingham, Dean covered an wide range of fascinating and instructive topics.   I am sure that everyone who attended found the whole experience hugely instructive and worthwhile.

Spotted on the walk was this industrious Squirrel’s dinner table!

Our thanks to Dean for his time. He hopes to do a further ‘walk’ when we have some Autumn colour so watch this site for the date.

Battle of Arnhem-‘A Bridge too far’.

“A Bridge Too Far”

75th Anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem 1944-2019

Operation Market-Garden – 17th September – 25th September 1944

In September 1944, after the victorious end of the Normandy campaign, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery devised a daring operation to open the way to the Ruhr by seizing a bridgehead north of the Rhine, at Arnhem.

On September 17, Operation Market, the largest airborne and glider operation in history (five thousand aircraft) was carried out by three Allied airborne divisions. Operation Garden was the ground side in which the Thirtieth (British) Corps was to link up with the British First Airborne at Arnhem by thrusting north along a narrow corridor opened by the U.S. Eighty-second and 101st Airborne Divisions. Then, the remainder of British Second Army would rapidly assault the Ruhr, thus hastening the collapse of the Third Reich and likely ending the war in 1944.

Congestion and German resistance along the single narrow road to Nijmegen and Arnhem delayed the British ground advance. The attempt to relieve Arnhem failed even though Lieutenant Colonel John Frost’s gallant paratroopers held the northern end of the Arnhem Bridge against the Ninth SS Panzer Division for four days before finally being overrun and captured. Market-Garden was a military disaster during which the ground force was unable to breach the River Waal at Nijmegen in time to establish a bridgehead north of the Rhine in what became popularly known as “a bridge too far.” Of the ten thousand men who had landed at Arnhem, fourteen hundred were killed and over six thousand captured; only twenty-four hundred paratroopers safely crossed to the south bank of the Rhine in small rubber boats.

Though a costly failure and a disaster for the British 1st Airborne Division, the Battle for Arnhem today stands as an example of courage and endurance and one of the greatest feats of arms in the Second World War.   Arnhem has become a byword for the fighting spirit of the British people and has set a standard for the Parachute Regiment. As an indicator of the courage displayed by British forces, five Victoria Crosses were awarded – four of them posthumously.

We will remember them.

Scouts help with Litter collection.

We were very pleased to welcome members of the 96th Birmingham Scout Group, who helped with our September Litter Pick.

They were joined by some of our usual supporters and it was great to see that we have some new ‘younger’ enthusiasts- or litter pickers in training!

Generally the cemetery was clear of obvious litter but we did manage 14 sacks of flower paper and shredded artificial flowers (Under hedges and behind grave stones). Can we remind you again to remove flower paper if possible and, if using artificial flowers, please make sure they are well secured not just popped in the display vases. The wind will blow these items away from the grave and animals (and grass cutting equipment) will shred them.

Whilst some of our members litter picked a few of us gave the top of the two hedges surrounding the Civilian Garden and the War Grave area a bit of a snip to smarten them up. They should have a good cut back as soon as they become dormant in the winter.

Our thanks again to everyone and we hope to see many of you again in December.

Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods visits Brandwood End

It’s taken 3 attempts by Councillor Sharon Thompson to meet with Bereavement Service staff and the Friends in Brandwood End to view the work on the Chapels and the drainage improvements, as her diary is always jam packed with pressing issues and meetings- but today she made it and I am sure she will agree that every one of us enjoyed her time in Brandwood End.

Local Councillors, Lisa Trickett and Mike Leddy,took the opportunity to view this amazing building and along with Councillor Thompson it was agreed that such a magnificent space should be put to use…..but how?

This was also an opportunity to thank Bereavement Service staff, both office and ground maintenance, for going above and beyond to clear the interior and spruce up the exterior of these magnificent buildings.

Whilst on site Councillor Thompson had an extensive ‘walk about’ that took in both graves and the natural tree heritage that Brandwood End offers. It was also an opportunity to see the extensive work that has been done to reduce the risk of flooding to adjacent housing. We thank everyone for their time…..and their enthusiasm. (Especially Councillor Thompson, who seemed as fired up about Brandwood End as we are!)

 

80 years ago today……….

Todays date, September 3rd, was an important date in 1939 as it marked the Official Declaration of War against Germany.

Until now much of the information regarding burials and casualties that FBEC have been highlighting on this site has related to WW1. Eighty years ago the country was yet again plunged into a state of War but this time the effects on the population ‘at home’ would be devastating.

Looking back in time we will still be highlighting issues that saw the end to the ‘War to end all wars’…..but our emphasis will move slightly to those buried in Brandwood End as a result of the Second World War.

Autumn Litter Pick

Who would believe that we are just about to enter Autumn!! Join the Friends for our AUTUMN LITTER PICK in Brandwood End Cemetery.

Meet us on the main drive (opposite the Lodge) at 10am. (We finish officially at 11.30)- Saturday 7th September. Litter pickers and bags provided but we would recommend stout footwear and gloves as well as outer wear.

Come and enjoy this beautiful green open space, whilst helping to keep it litter free.

If you go down to the cemetery tonight, you are in for a big surprise!!

It’s not very often that you can get into Brandwood End Cemetery at night…..but tonight was the night! Great bat walk from Jasmin Fields to Brandwood Pool via the cemetery. All ages, and many new to the whole walk route, despite being local.

 

Thanks to Chris from Brum Bats and Ranger Dean for giving up their own time for this event. 30+ people, lots of bats and an amazing Tawny Owl made it worth it!

 

We hope that tonight’s adventure encourages people to visit all three sites again and be aware of the amazing natural spaces on their doorsteps.

If, as a result of tonight site visits, we could encourage anyone to be involved in litter picks or work parties to help Ranger Dean keep these sites accessible and welcoming to the public, please   e mail us with your contact details on ‘friendsofbec@gmail.com’ We can then add you to the mailing list or maybe consider joining the ‘Friends’ via this web site.