Category: Memorials and headstones

Cross and Screen Walls repaired and cleaned.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission have been busy cleaning and repairing the Cross of Sacrifice and the Screen Walls as part of their maintenance programme. All looking clean, tidy and ready for the 125 year anniversary of the first funeral in Brandwood End Cemetery on the 13th April 1899. (We will be posting more about this anniversary nearer the date.)

 

Stories from the Stones.

I am afraid that, due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to suspend our Stories from the Stones project for a short period.  The original organisers and sponsors of the project were ‘Caring for Gods Acre’ but their support was limited to 2 years and that expired at the end of last year.

We have managed to hold some recording events since but need to reorganise our team as we want to make every effort to continue with the valuable recording of grave inscriptions for posterity.

Please watch this page for details of when these events will re-commence and we hope to include some weekend opportunities as requested !

Stories from the Stones

Just a reminder that FBEC will be working with Caring for Gods Acre again on this project throughout 2023. This will be our third year. Unfortunately they had to cancel the March event due to snow and ice ! The next event will be 10th April. This is a fascinating project and a chance for you to take part in recording this information for future generations. Contact Josie to reserve a place at any, or all, of these FREE events.

Lots to look forward to !

Winter is a quiet time in Brandwood End but the Friends have been working away in the background on a number of projects.

We are creating a number of ‘Trail sheets’ that will cover Heritage items, trees, interesting graves, fascinating memorials, quiet corners to rest and take in the wildlife and trees plus measured routes to stroll, with distances and surface types to encourage the less able to enjoy them as well.

The sheet below, kindly produced by committee member Lisa Fair, highlights some of the cemetery heritage- both historical and ecological.

Civilian Garden in the spotlight.

Today we were able to tell the story of the Civilian Garden of Remembrance and those that lie within.

Many of our visitors today had no  idea that  this peaceful area of reflection existed and certainly knew nothing of those buried within.

 

With the help of Matt Felkin and his wealth of knowledge,  we were able to answer many questions about Civilian casualties and local areas that received bomb damage.

Our thanks again to everyone that helped us deliver this Heritage Event and those who took the time to visit us, especially in this strange time of public mourning.

Heritage Open Events

The Friends will be taking part in Heritage Open Week and here are a few dates for your diary.

Saturday September 10th– Join us in the Civilian Garden of Remembrance to find out more about this area and why it was built by BCC 70 years ago and refurbished by the Friends. Learn more about who is buried there and why.

We will also have self guided grave tour maps and a trail of painted stones for the younger visitors.

Wednesday 14th September-join volunteers  to help record the inscriptions on memorials for posterity, as well as giving you an insight to those buried beneath and the etiquette at that time. This event will be led by Caring for God’s Acre and booking will be available via Eventbrite nearer the time or by e mail to   friendsofbec@gmail.com 

Friday 16th September– Take a stroll with our Chairman, Julia Griffin and Val Hart from the Balsall Heath Society to visit a number of graves with a connection to Balsall Heath. You dont have to have lived in that area to find the lives of those buried within are of real interest. Please e mail us direct to book a place as we have limited space.  friendsofbec@gmail.com

Tantalising information.

Those of you that follow a series on Chanel 5 called ‘Planes that won the War’ will have seen, in the episode screened on the 1st of July, the story of 8 Air man who lost their lives when their Lancaster  crashed into ‘Ben Eighe’, a mountain in Scotland. The crash site was very remote, and still is.

One of those lost, their Navigator, lived very locally and is  buried in Brandwood End. We hope to feature his story in the near future, so watch this space.

Should any of his relatives read this, please contact us at friendsofbec@gmail.com as we would love to know more.

 

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.