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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Todays date, September 3rd, was an important date in 1939 as it marked the Official Declaration of War against Germany.
Until now much of the information regarding burials and casualties that FBEC have been highlighting on this site has related to WW1. Eighty years ago the country was yet again plunged into a state of War but this time the effects on the population ‘at home’ would be devastating.
Looking back in time we will still be highlighting issues that saw the end to the ‘War to end all wars’…..but our emphasis will move slightly to those buried in Brandwood End as a result of the Second World War.
This weekend was a special one for Brandwood End Cemetery as the Friends remember 2 events that happened 120 years ago.
Brandwood End Cemetery was officially opened (there is a plaque on the wall of the West Chapel ) on Thursday 13th April 1899 by Mr. George Tallis, the Chairman of the Kings Norton Parish Council Local Cemetery Committee.
The photograph above shows the boulder (Provided by the Friends following a generous donation) marking one of the communal grave areas where the very first burial site is marked.
If you look to the right as you pass the Cross of Sacrifice, very close to the Redwood Avenue, you will find a simple wooden stake. (Section C1 c/e)
The Friends, with help from Bereavement Service staff, have identified the grave of :-
Charles Downes – 5 years old – first burial in Brandwood End. The cause of death was ‘Diphtheria after 4 days’
His father, Walter William Downes was a Carpenter (journeyman) who was present at his little son’s death at 47 Runcorn Road, Balsall Heath on Tuesday 11th April 1899. Charles was buried four days later on Saturday 15th April, and became the first burial in Brandwood End.
We have, today, laid a small tribute with a few words, but hope to bring you more of the Downes Family history via a link in the next few days.
The minister who conducted the burial service was Revd Charles William Barnard, Vicar of St. Nicolas’ Kings Norton (1893-1909) in whose parish the Cemetery lay.
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.
Final reminder that the Remembrance Service in Brandwood End Cemetery will start at 10.50am prompt and be followed by 2 minutes silence and the laying of wreaths. Everyone welcome.
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)