Over 150 people attended this years Service of Remembrance. Once again the atmosphere was enhanced by our Bugler but it was lovely to see many organisations represented, many of whom had several members there.Our thanks to Deacon David Fairbotham, who conducts a short but thought provoking service and to the growing number of people who attend. if you would like to see a few more photographs of this event, please follow this link.
We shall remember them.
The Friends have now started their annual project to place a Poppy Cross on every War Grave in the cemetery. Some are easily spotted as they have CWWGC headstone, all of which have an identical profile.
This photo shows one of our members highlighting a Labour Corps grave as part of a national project to remember lesser known groups of combatants.
We have 350+ Poppies to place and the bulk of them are not as easily found as they are remembered in family graves.
Today we were assisted by committee members and family supporters but our special thanks to members of BARRA who worked on one of the hardest sections- as the area was very uneven and deep in leaves! http://www.birminghamairraids.co.uk/
Our thanks to those that have come along to help us this year. Their input has made such a difference and we are well on the way to completing this task in time for Remembrance Sunday. So far the weather has been kind ! Please do consider joining The Friends, local Councillors, Neighbourhood Police Officers, The Royal British Legion and many others organisations at our Service of Remembrance on Sunday November 11th, (10.50am)
The Friends web site is due to have an update in the near future, so we will be unable to post for a couple of weeks once that update starts. With that in mind we are posting information about this years Service of Remembrance well in advance.
It is 100 years since the end of WW1 this year, so please try and join us on what will be a significant date- 11.11.2018
Despite being cut back hard a few months ago, the hedge surrounding the small Commonwealth War Grave area had developed a some what wild look.
We have given it a very quick top cut to make it look tidy in readiness for our Heritage Open Event next Saturday the 8th, but it will have to wait till much later in the year for another good cut back . Its great to see this young hedge thriving!
On the morning of Saturday 8th September between 10am and 1pm the Friends will be taking part in Heritage Open Week.
Please come along and join us. We will have plenty of interesting items and displays and you can join one of our Grave Walks (numbers limited) highlighting the plight of ‘Labour Corps’ members who are buried and remembered in Brandwood End.
If you have any interesting memorabilia concerning the activities of local Suffragettes we would really love to see it !
Those of you that follow the activities of FBEC will know that a few years ago we enlisted the help of local pupils to create yet another hedged area to surround a small section of War Graves that we felt needed to be defined. The majority of our 300+ War Graves are scattered throughout the cemetery.
The original project took place in early 2014 so barely 3 years later and the hedge is now well established.
Whilst we were in the cemetery with our shears we also removed stragglers from this hedge.
Both these hedges were planted in define areas but also to increase habitat for birds, insects and especially Hedgehogs within Brandwood End.
Three years on…… a well established hedge.
Every May, cyclist travel from all over the UK to visit the National Cyclists Memorial in the village of Meriden. This year a small contingent decided that, as they were unable to visit Meriden, they would lay a wreath in Brandwood End.
Built to honour the memory of those members of the cyclists battalions of the Army Cyclists Corps who died in World War One, the Meriden Memorial was erected in 1921 and on 21st May over 20,000 people turned up for its inauguration.
Following Morning Service at The Cotteridge Church Centre on Sunday 21st May 2017, Rev. Loraine Dixon and Rev Michael Claridge, accompanied by Joy Anibaba from the Joyful Bellas and Fellas Community Cycling Group, cycled from Kings Norton Recreation Ground to Brandwood End Cemetery to mark our own commemoration.
After a short prayer service, a wreath in the style of the original laid at the 1921 inauguration service at Meriden, was laid at the Brandwood Cross of Sacrifice. Four Standard Bearer Members of the Federation of Birmingham Ex-Service Associations performed Tribute during the Last Post, a two minute silence was observed and Reveille played at the cessation.
The Cemetery trees in full spring foliage and the bird song during 2 minute silence added to the simple beauty of the occasion. All those who attended the event left in the knowledge that a fitting tribute had been paid to preserve the memory of The Fallen, and also took away with them a very good impression of what the Friends of Brandwood End continue to achieve in the cemetery.
Some of you may remember that our committee member, Barrie Simpson, and others were making efforts to get official recognition for Thomas William James.
We have included a link to the Official site which details, at length, the history behind these efforts. It is a long but extremely interesting story……but everyone’s efforts have been rewarded!
FBEC felt they would like to share with you an article prepared by Edwina Rees, for the Moseley History Society newsletter. It sums up our recent Remembrance Day Event. Thank you Edwina.
The centenary year of the Battle of the Somme was very much in everyone’s thoughts, in this year’s commemorative service held at the Cross of Sacrifice at Brandwood End Cemetery. Before the laying of wreaths, the last post rang out and during the two minutes silence, instead of poppies, the last golden leaves of autumn fell on the heads of those reflecting on the loss of the many young men who fell that fell during the course of the war in 1916.
Second Lieutenant F C Alabaster was one of those who lost their lives that year. Clifford, as he preferred to be known, was wounded in the head by shrapnel, just before the Battle of the Somme, but the protection afforded by the new ‘Brodie’ helmets lessened the impact and he was expected to survive. Unfortunately, this was not the case and he died in the Empire Hospital for Officers, London just over a month later. His great niece Wendy Alabaster represented the family on the day
His grave and those of others buried here who served in WW1, are now recognised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission thanks to the campaigning endeavors of the Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery. He is also commemorated at St Mary’s Church, Moseley on their WW1 memorial.
Second Lieutenant F C Alabaster was highlighted at the request of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission as part of their ‘Living Memories’ project, but in remembering him we must also remember all those who are buried here or on foreign soil who gave their lives for their country and those killed locally as a result of enemy air raids.