On Sunday 1st December we will be holding our last litter pick of 2019.
Please come along and support us. We have the litter pickers and the bags- we just need the volunteers. Meet at the Lodge on the main drive at 10am. Remember you will need stout footwear !
Lets hope the weather is dry for us this Wednesday 27th as we will be welcoming Birmingham Trees for Life and pupils from St Albans R C Primary School to plant yet another 10 trees in Brandwood End Cemetery.
Last year we sadly lost a number of large Poplar Trees from one of our boundary areas but with the help of Birmingham Trees for Life we are slowly replacing them with more suitable species.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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!)