Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery Restoration, conservation and respectful enjoyment of Brandwood End Cemetery and Chapels Mon, 03 Aug 2020 14:51:30 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 How about a Civilian Garden ‘blast from the past’? Mon, 03 Aug 2020 14:51:30 +0000 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.


]]> 0
Remembering VJ Day Sun, 02 Aug 2020 17:53:46 +0000 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.

VJ Day

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.


]]> 0
Attempted break in to Chapel buildings. Sun, 26 Jul 2020 16:39:55 +0000 The Friends noticed that one of the doors of the chapels had been damaged, so contacted Bereavement staff who dashed out to check!

Sure enough, someone had tried to gain access but failed. They had also attempted to steal the lightening conductor off the steeple!!

What next? How glad are we that no lead has been used in the new temporary roof fixings or we could have found ourselves in the same catch 22 situation as our friends at Kings Norton Old School- who’s roof lead has been repeatedly plundered.

Steps have been taken to prevent this happening again but, as members of the public, please question anyone you see doing anything you feel is ‘not right’ around the cemetery or notify staff or The Friends.(Or the Police!) This happened when the cemetery was open and visitors were about. High Viz a clip board and a truck doesn’t mean they are legal!!

]]> 0
A joint anniversary Sat, 25 Jul 2020 22:36:13 +0000 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.

]]> 0
Thanks to all our supporters. Wed, 15 Jul 2020 05:31:14 +0000 Can we take a moment, in this special year, to welcome everyone who views our web site and visits the cemetery. Please spread the word.  Interest in the cemetery has swelled of late and we are so pleased to be able to share our love of this amazing cemetery with others. Can we remind you that there are no permanent ground staff at Brandwood End and we share them with several other cemeteries, but we can assure you that they do what they can with the time and resources allotted to them and every member of the ground staff has a love of the cemetery that goes beyond their ‘job’. There will always be issues relating to this large site of 53 acres, which used to have 16 permanent gardeners in its hey day, but with the co operation of the public, the Friends, Bereavements Staff and BCC grounds maintenance we hope we can keep this as a welcoming and safe space for those that visit.


]]> 0
Celebrating 15 years of the Friends. Wed, 15 Jul 2020 04:49:55 +0000 Its 15 years since the Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery (FBEC) were formed, on the 21st July. Over those 15 years we have remained remarkably busy but many of our projects have remained unseen, so we thought we would create the a poster showing some of the more evident things we have managed to achieve. If you have an interest you can follow this link.15th Year poster

Our main aim was, and will always be, to see the chapels returned to use, in some form that will provide a sustainable future for them as we would all hate to lose these beautiful buildings. It may appear that very little has happened on this front but believe us when we say it has been, and remains, a total roller coaster ride.

We have seen possibilities being raised….and then dashed many times, but we will continue to fight. At present the councils stance is to try and ‘prevent further deterioration’. Unfortunately just to stand still costs thousands of pounds a year in repetitive maintenance. Last year we achieved major goals with the installation of a new temporary roof on the building, the cleaning out of both chapel interiors and proper interpretation.

You will see from our linked poster that we are busy in many areas and we continue to look for support with projects and also for new members on our committee.

We hope you find the Cemetery a peaceful place and we will continue to try and work with Bereavement Services and BCC to maintain a welcoming and interesting environment- historically and environmentally.

]]> 0
Cross of Sacrifice Wed, 15 Jul 2020 04:25:22 +0000 2020 is a special year for Brandwood End, as it is 90 years since the dedication of the Cross of Sacrifice. Our Chairman has researched its history and we hope you find this shortened version of events of interest.

At 3pm on Sunday 20th July 1930 the Cross, erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission to the memory of the 103 (at the time) soldiers who died during the Great War and who were buried in the Cemetery, was dedicated by Birmingham’s Assistant Bishop Hamilton Baynes, who during the Boer War was Bishop of Natal (and an Army Chaplain both then and again in WW1).



The event was extremely well attended, despite the continuous downpour that had drenched Birmingham for two days, with the Lord Mayor Alderman M Lancaster, Councillor F. McDonald Chairman of the Parks and Cemeteries Committee, Councillors, representatives of the local TA Units, members of numerous branches of the British Legion (with their banners), the Vicars of Kings Norton and All Saints Kings Heath and other clergy all present and led to the Cross by the military band of The Legion of Frontiersmen. A large number of the public attended, many of whom carried wreaths and bunches of flowers to place on the Cross and the Lord Mayor laid ‘a massive wreath “from the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Citizens of Birmingham” .

We are pleased to report that the Cross and Screen walls have been cleaned in time for this special date and on the 20th the Friends will lay a small wreath to mark this date, which coincides with the 15th Anniversary of the formation of the Friends on the 21st July 2005.

]]> 0
Lest We Forget Wed, 01 Jul 2020 20:09:13 +0000

]]> 0
Lots of trees (with a few old chapel photos). Wed, 01 Jul 2020 14:25:43 +0000 As I was sorting the FBEC photo files I thought this album may interest some of you. It is partly a prep. for a future tree trail.(Photographs taken by committee member Carola Klein in 2017)

]]> 0
We’ve started, so we may as well carry on! Tue, 23 Jun 2020 21:18:10 +0000 If you follow our posts you will see that earlier this afternoon we gave the hedge a clip around the War Grave area. As we were enjoying the sunshine we decided to carry on and attack the Civilian Garden area, which was equally in need of a bit of TLC due to ‘lockdown’ restrictions.

We managed to weed the rose beds and paths, prune the roses, remove all the suckers on our lovely trees and give a ‘top’ cut to the hedge, but there is still plenty to do. Cut hedge sides and weed shrub beds to mention just a couple, but I am afraid the heat overcame us.

(And the fact that the gates are locked at 7pm and it was now 6.50pm!)



Our shrub beds are obviously thriving.

….and the 4 of us are suffering with the high temperatures this evening!

Never mind, there is always another day.







]]> 0