Tag: Poppy Crosses.

Friends ‘A’Frame refreshed as Poppy Cross Project gets underway.

When the Friends and volunteers are working in the cemetery we usually display our  ‘A’ Frame so you know that the people in High Viz are us, and not Council workers.

Yesterday we began our Poppy Cross placing project and used a new poster on our ‘A’ Frame. We have Gary Staples to thank for the marvellous shot of the chapels and we thought his photo deserved to be seen more often!

Please watch out for us over the next week or two as we place the 352 poppy crosses on the graves of those lost in conflicts and buried, or remembered in family grave, in Brandwood End.

Saturday’s efforts were undertaken by the Colmey Family, Kerry Tinkler, Lisa Fair, Julia Griffin and myself. Very theraputic, enjoyable and rewarding! Sunday’s  team include Coral and Andrew Howard and Monday we are assisted by Damian Tierney, Gail Pittaway, Carmel Fitzpatrick and Philip Brown.

Thank you to everyone else that asked if they could help but this year we had lots of offers of assistance, which makes this project all the easier to complete. So far everyone who has helped has wanted to come back the following year, so we are trying to introduce a few new volunteers every year to develop a team we can call on for the future. Thank you all again.

When will we learn?

Please read the whole of this post as it is a reminder that in these strange times we need to support the work of the Royal British Legion. Poppy sales in some venues will possibly be limited due to social distancing.



Why are they selling poppies, mother? Selling poppies in town today?

The Poppy, my child, is the flower of love for the men, who marched away.

Why did they choose a poppy, mother? Why not a beautiful rose?

Because, my child, men fought and died in the fields, where the poppy grows.

But why is the poppy so red?

Red is the colour of blood, my child, the blood that our soldiers shed.

The heart of the poppy is black mother. Why does it have to be black?

Black is the symbol of grief, my child, for the men, who never came back.

But why, mother dear, are you crying so? Your tears are like winter rain.

My tears are my fears for you, my child, for the world is forgetting again.


The Somme, Dunkirk, Malaya, Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan . . . . .

Wherever the conflict is, our service men and women and their families, deserve our support via the Royal British Legion Poppy Collecting Tins?




Welcome back British Army 202(Midlands Field Hospital) volunteers.

The Friends were pleased to welcome back on site 20 members of the Armed Forces 202 Field Hospital under the command of Major Harry Wallace.

They came on a mission to uncover 4 specific Commonwealth War Graves that had become totally enveloped by shrubbery and to clean and weed a large number of others.

Luckily for us they felt they had some more of their precious time to share so spent a further few hours clearing the metre high self set Holly area on one of the sections.(There are still at least 2 more similar areas in the cemetery)

Whilst in the cemetery ‘202’ also made time to visit, and place Poppy Crosses on, our small War Grave area and beneath our screen walls.


I am sure, if you visit, the improvement after the removal of the holly will be obvious- but here are some before and after photographs.

Ivy is notoriously hard to remove and these areas have now been cut back, revealing many graves that have been hidden for several years.





This is just a small portion of the area that they cleared !



Our thanks to them all for their enthusiasm and ‘can do’ attitude. Lets hope we can welcome them again to Brandwood End.



Poppy Project

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