Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery https://fbec.org.uk Restoration, conservation and respectful enjoyment of Brandwood End Cemetery and Chapels Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:39:56 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Another ‘brick in the wall’! https://fbec.org.uk/2019/10/18/another-brick-in-the-wall/ https://fbec.org.uk/2019/10/18/another-brick-in-the-wall/#respond Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:39:56 +0000 https://fbec.org.uk/?p=3173

Not quite a ‘brick’ but certainly- in the wall…of the chapels.

We have Mark Brady of STONESET MEMORIAL MASONS to thank for bringing this plaque back to its original condition. Over the last 121 years the writing had become indistinct and difficult to read. Mark undertook this work as a ‘labour of love’ and I am sure you will agree that it now cuts a dash on the chapel wall.

 

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Remembrance Service -10th November 2019 https://fbec.org.uk/2019/10/14/remembrance-service-10th-november-2019/ https://fbec.org.uk/2019/10/14/remembrance-service-10th-november-2019/#respond Mon, 14 Oct 2019 20:42:44 +0000 https://fbec.org.uk/?p=3171 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.

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Enjoyable Tree Walk, despite the weather! https://fbec.org.uk/2019/10/14/enjoyable-tree-walk-despite-the-weather/ https://fbec.org.uk/2019/10/14/enjoyable-tree-walk-despite-the-weather/#respond Mon, 14 Oct 2019 20:32:39 +0000 https://fbec.org.uk/?p=3165 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.

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Small block of War Graves, on view again. https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/28/small-block-of-war-graves-on-view-again/ https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/28/small-block-of-war-graves-on-view-again/#respond Sat, 28 Sep 2019 21:24:16 +0000 https://fbec.org.uk/?p=3146 A few years ago we planted a new small hedged area creating a boundary around a small block of War Graves. Of late we have received a number of requests to reduce the height of this hedge so the Headstones remain in view and ‘part of’ the surrounding graves. I think you will agree that this 50% reduction in height has achieved that objective and we will try and maintain this low height in future. Thanks again to BCC Grounds Maintenance staff for their work, and for visitors to the cemetery for their thoughts and suggestions.

Despite rigorous efforts we are still struggling to understand why these 8 graves stand apart, when the remaining 340+ lie scattered throughout the cemetery. We are also intrigued by the inscription on one that states ‘buried elsewhere in this cemetery’. We know all there is to know about the occupants but not why they have this resting place. They appear to have no connection to each other!

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Civilian Garden Autumn Hedge Maintenance https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/28/civilian-garden-autumn-hedge-maintenance/ https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/28/civilian-garden-autumn-hedge-maintenance/#respond Sat, 28 Sep 2019 21:09:58 +0000 https://fbec.org.uk/?p=3140 Our thanks go out, yet again, to Birmingham Council Grounds Maintenance staff that carry out the horticultural maintenance at Brandwood End (Grass cutting etc).They have carried out a fantastic Autumn cut on the hedge surrounding the Civilian Garden area. This hedge was planted a number of years ago by pupils of St Albans school and has been so successful that we need their professional assistance to keep it in check! Thank you Paul and team.

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Poppy Project https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/26/poppy-project-2/ https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/26/poppy-project-2/#respond Thu, 26 Sep 2019 18:11:45 +0000 https://fbec.org.uk/?p=3138

Every year the Friends and their supporters place Poppy Crosses on  ‘War Graves’ within Brandwood End Cemetery. This includes anyone lost as a result of conflict, civilians as well as Armed Forces personnel. Some of these graves are Commonwealth War Graves but many are family graves. In all there are 350+…..but we continue to find the names of those in family graves not yet on our list.

The task of placing these crosses represents a challenge, as the graves are scattered throughout the cemetery and not as well marked as the one you see here, but it is both poignant and rewarding.

If you think you may be interested to train to undertake this annual task, we would love to hear from you. You need to be sytematic and sure footed….and not deterred by inclement weather as this task is undertaken in late October and early November prior to our Remembrance Service. You will need to have a minimum of half a day of your time available but if you think you can help please contact us at:-       friendsofbec@gmail.com

 

 

 

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Fantastic view of the new ‘temporary’ chapel roof. https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/26/fantastic-view-of-the-new-temporary-chapel-roof/ https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/26/fantastic-view-of-the-new-temporary-chapel-roof/#respond Thu, 26 Sep 2019 17:43:24 +0000 https://fbec.org.uk/?p=3135

This view enables everyone to see how excited the Friends are at the quality of the temporary roof, recently installed by the City Council contractors. Both chapels are now weatherproof and this represents a huge step forward.

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Victorian’s vision for Brandwood’s trees https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/26/victorians-vision-for-brandwoods-trees/ https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/26/victorians-vision-for-brandwoods-trees/#respond Thu, 26 Sep 2019 17:28:58 +0000 https://fbec.org.uk/?p=3124 The amazing photographs below were taken by one of our facebook supporters and  I think they shows the amazing number and variation of trees in Brandwood End Cemetery…close to 1700 individual trees, planted following a grid template by the great landscape designer ‘Louden’.

We must remember that when these trees were planted, around 1899, they would have been very small saplings and the people who planted them knew they would never personally enjoy the scene they were creating!

We must also remember our significant avenue of Redwoods…..

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Battle of Arnhem-‘A Bridge too far’. https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/22/battle-of-arnhem-a-bridge-too-far/ https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/22/battle-of-arnhem-a-bridge-too-far/#respond Sun, 22 Sep 2019 06:46:52 +0000 https://fbec.org.uk/?p=3120 “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.

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Scouts help with Litter collection. https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/12/scouts-help-with-litter-collection/ https://fbec.org.uk/2019/09/12/scouts-help-with-litter-collection/#respond Thu, 12 Sep 2019 10:00:11 +0000 https://fbec.org.uk/?p=3113 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.

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