Took my daily exercise in the cemetery today and thought I would take a few photos of the extent of graves failing a stress test. These stones are in danger of toppling under minor pressure, so have been marked with blue tape and staked, to allow time for next of kin to have them correctly fixed by a Stonemason, and to warn the public to keep clear of them. In the older sections there are quite a few large stones needing action.
Early in December a member of our committee was lucky enough to be in the cemetery when a new name was added to the screen wall, adjacent to the Cross of Sacrifice on the main drive.
The work was undertaken by Chargehand Stonemason – Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Mike Witham.
Mike has undertaken work for the CWWGC all over the world in various cemeteries and on December 1st he found himself in Brandwood End.
The names of those who lost their lives during the Wars, and are buried in the communal grassed areas either side of the main drive, are remembered on the screen walls. They were either without family or family were unable to afford to finance a grave at that time, but they are individually named on the two screen walls that lie either side of the main drive adjacent to the Cross of Sacrifice.
Our understanding is that family recently followed up his records and approached the CWWGC to have his name added. The Friends would love to talk to the family, so if one of them is reading this or if you know who they are, could you put us in touch? Please e mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
The work undertaken by Mike and other CWWGC Stonemasons must be admired as its longevity enables families to see a lasting record of their relatives and a recognition of their sacrifice.
Our thanks to our committee member, Carola Klein, for her observations and photographs of Fungi in the cemetery. We notice that this year the huge ‘Fairy Rings’ we saw last year have not reappeared.
We know that many of our web site followers take their cameras along when they visit Brandwood End. We are always interested to see your results if you think you have an interesting shot, whether that is an unusual headstone, wildlife or flora and fauna. Can you e mail them to us at email@example.com
IT IS WITH REGRET THAT THE FRIENDS OF BRANDWOOD END HAVE DECIDED TO CANCEL THE USUAL SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE IN BRANDWOOD END. WE HAD HOPED TO HOLD A SMALLER EVENT BEHIND LOCKED GATES BUT FOLLOWING ADVICE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH FOR BIRMINGHAM, DR JUSTIN VARNEY, WE HAVE DECIDED NOT TO ENCOURAGE A GATHERING OF ANY DESCRIPTION.
OVER THE NEXT WEEK, EACH OF OUR WREATH LAYERS AND ORGANISATIONS HAVE BEEN ASKED TO VISIT INDEPENDENTLY AND PLACE THEIR WREATHS AT THE CROSS OF SACRIFICE SO BY 8th NOVEMBER THEY WILL ALL BE IN PLACE. PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT ON THAT DAY TO OBSERVE THE 2 MINUTES SILENCE WHERE EVER YOU ARE.
WE WILL BE POSTING PHOTOGRAPHS OF EACH WREATH BEING LAID ON OUR WEB SITE www.fbec.org.uk
IT WAS WITH HEAVY HEARTS THAT WE MADE THIS DECISION, BUT WE ALL FEEL IT IS IMPORTANT TO TRY AND ADHERE TO LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS AND THE ADVICE WE HAVE RECEIVED. WE HOPE WE CAN WELCOME YOU ALL BACK IN 2021.
Munjac Deer have been making themselves known in and around the area of the cemetery and the pool. They were heard more than seen a lot in the past, but sightings have been rare of late. The deer you can see in the picture below is a Roe deer and is considerably larger with a longer neck and a distinctive white rump- but several years ago one of these was spotted and photographed in the cemetery by Dean our Ranger. How it got there, we have no idea but it is unlikely we will see one again! (The female does not have the antlers that appear here)
The Muntjac is much smaller, similar size to a Labrador dog, and can be recognised in the cemetery at night by it’s distinctive single ‘bark’. In the last week there have been close encounters during daylight with one by Brandwood Pool and also in the cemetery. Wildlife is enjoying lockdown, with reduced footfall making them more inclined to be about in daylight hours in this relatively urban area. Lets hope someone can get a photo of one ……but they are very quick!
Funerals are still happening in Brandwood End but under the strict supervision of Bereavement Ground Staff. Unfortunately there is a restriction on the number of mourners that can attend, agreed nationally, to comply with safe distancing policy. This is a sad time for all communities, but even more so for members of some religious groups that have specific demands surrounding the loss of a loved one. Our thoughts are with you all.
Well, here we are….2020 ! Can we wish all our followers, supporters and members a very Happy New Year.
2019 has seen lots of steps forward for the Friends, especially in relation to the Chapels. It is to be hoped that we can maintain the momentum and bring these beautiful buildings back to the notice of the public.
Councillor Sharon Thompson and members of Bereavement Service staff recently had the chance to inspect the inside of these buildings with the Friends and we all agreed that 2020 should be the year we try to find a use for this beautiful structure.
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.
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.