Firefighters Memorial Day will have been marked by a minutes silence at midday today to honour Firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. Over 2300 such deaths are recorded.
Brandwood End is the resting place of Sydney Charles Tropman who was one of the above number.
As part of National Cemeteries Week we would like to highlight some of his story.
FBEC – SIDNEY CHARLES TROPMAN WW2 FIREMAN
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.
The Friends grabbed the chance to tidy up the hedge surrounding a small Commonwealth War Graves area before the rain started again!
Before and after. All that is needed are a couple of hours to spare and a few willing hands!!
We have several hundred War Graves in Brandwood End and neither ourselves nor Bereavements Services staff can find an explanation as to why these 8 graves are not dispersed within the cemetery like the others. There have been many theories but all have proved incorrect. No one knows……unless you know different??
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.
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 !
FBEC member, Pat Franklin, gave up her time to lead a group of U3A (Local History Group) members on a walk through Brandwood End Cemetery. During Heritage Open Week, in September 2014, the Friends devised a Grave Walk highlighting a small number of War Graves in the cemetery and providing a short background to each of them.
Our thanks to Alison Gove-Humphries for taking some lovely photographs at the event.
The tour itself consisted of an introduction and overview, the formation and role of the Friends and then to the CWGC, their policy and philosophy. Next came a brief summary of the First World War, the burials elsewhere [unless stated] and the commemoration on family headstones on the walk. Then on to the Cross of Sacrifice and the recent Commemoration. Thence, the Screen Walls and a walk to the more recent Tree Island Memorial, with tablet and benches. The group were particularly taken with the Poppy Cross Field and its significance.
Our thanks again to Pat for leading this walk. We do occasionally get requests from individuals to attend a walk but unless Pat can get a group of 8 to 12 together it isn’t really worth while. With this in mind, if you would like to take our Grave Walk (Probably not until Spring 2017) can you e mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to this list then contact you with proposed dates when we have enough prospective participants.
Our thanks to everyone that turned out today to our Annual Remembrance Service in Brandwood End. This year saw close to 100 participants come to hear a short thought provoking address by Deacon David Fairbotham of St Dunstans Church prior to the laying of wreaths by Kings Heath and Selly Oak Royal British Legions, Local Councillors (on behalf of BCC), The Freemasons, The Royal Order of Buffaloes and the Friends.
Yet again we must thank our magnificent buglers, Ludo and Oliver, for helping to create such a poignant atmosphere with their amazing rendition of the Last Post and Reveille. If they desert us for University next year they will be sadly missed!
As part of the CWGC ‘Living Memory’ project we agreed to highlight the grave of one Service Member who lost his life as a result of the actions at the Battle of the Somme. Our choice was Frederic Clifford Alabaster, and we were pleased to welcome one of his relatives, Wendy Alabaster, to the Remembrance Service.
Wendy also joined many people who took the time to view the information on display and visit ‘Clifford’s’ grave. Information about this grave will remain on display for the next two weeks, at the grave site and also on the main drive near the poppy cross grid and Cross of Sacrifice.
Every year, in the run up to Armistice Day, the Friends place over 300 poppy crosses on graves of those lost to conflicts. Many are members of the armed forces but many are also civilians killed in air raids locally, as shown in the grave below where 3 members of a family all lost their lives.
We also create a ‘Poppy Cross Cemetery’ grid, near the Cross of Sacrifice on the main drive, to show the vastness of the numbers involved just within Brandwood End Cemetery.
Please walk through the cemetery if you are passing and give a moment of your time to remember those who lost their lives either at home or abroad.
SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE- SUNDAY 13th NOVEMBER 10.45am .
If you happen to pass through Brandwood End Cemetery this week, you may well see members of the Friends and volunteers placing some 350 + poppy crosses. Each War Grave in Brandwood End is marked every year by the placing of a poppy cross on it. A large grid ‘poppy cross cemetery’ is also formed on the grassland adjacent to the Cross of Sacrifice on the Main Drive- to give an impression of the large numbers of those buried within Brandwood End who have lost their lives in wars around the globe.
Please pause for a moment after Remembrance Sunday to read the information placed near the ‘poppy cemetery’.
Remembrance Sunday information is to follow this article.
The Great War memorial bench has now been re sited close to the new memorial (on the old Oak Tree Island). It has been joined by an interpretation lectern explaining the part that Birmingham played during the Great war.
The bench is now clear of over hanging trees and less likely to be damaged by bird droppings.
The small area of Commonwealth War Graves, recently hedged by FBEC and St Albans pupils, has been planted with Primula Vulgaris and is looking especially good.