The sun shone through the trees during our Heritage Open Event held on Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war and to remember all those involved.
This was the first time that Brandwood End Cemetery had featured in an Heritage Open Day event and we all agreed it had been a worthwhile experience. Dawn and her team from Birmingham Bereavement Services worked with the Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery to provide lots of interesting displays of memorabilia – and perhaps more importantly, tea and cakes!
Doug Smith, ably assisted by his team, read short monologues of soldiers experiences and members of ‘Troop Aid’ raised over £100 for their very worthwhile cause.
The Friends lead three successful walks covering a small number of graves significant in ww1, as well as chatting to members of the public who took the opportunity to come along and ‘show and tell’ their family items of ww1 memorabilia.
Our thanks to everyone who worked hard to make this a success and especially the members of the public who fitted our event in with so many others in the area today.
We met many new friends in the cemetery today and hope they will keep in touch with us via this web site.
A reminder that our Remembrance Service will take place at the Cross of Sacrifice on Sunday November 9th starting at 10.50am.
We wish we could say that the sun shone today as it has done for the last week- but it didn’t. That didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of pupils from St Alban’s RC Primary School who came along to the cemetery to help plant hawthorn whips around a Commonwealth War Graves Commission burial area. Brandwood End is home to over 300 war graves but there is only one small area where graves lie in rows on a specially maintained area of grassland. This area is now enclosed by a new hawthorn hedge.
We were pleased to welcome lots of visitors to the site as well as the pupils. Representatives of Veolia Environmental Services, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, New Vision, Bereavement Services, Quadron Contractors and local residents were joined by the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress.
Following a busy morning planting they all enjoyed refreshments and a chance to talk to the Lord Mayor about his role and his regalia.
Today, during our litter pick, FBEC removed all 300+ poppy crosses laid out in our annually created ‘poppy cross cemetery’.
Following a request from Bereavements we have removed the crosses in the Public Grave area in readiness for grass cutting to start in the spring.
Every year our Vice Chairman, Barrie Simpson, and helpers create a grid of poppy crosses in the hope that it will help people to understand the large numbers of war graves within Brandwood End Cemetery. They also place poppy crosses on every war grave and these will remain in place until November 2015 unless removed by next of kin.
FBEC and Chris Gascoigne of S.Gascoine and Sons sponsored our crosses by donation to the British Legion.
Many of the regular visitors to Brandwood End Cemetery are aware of the large number of Military Graves that lie within (Over 350). Following Remembrance Sunday each year these graves are even more identifiable as the Friends place ‘Poppy Crosses’ on every grave. Most of these graves are scattered throughout the cemetery but what most people do not realise is that we have a small Military section. The area surrounding this section has, over time, lost its defined boundary so with the help of funding from Veolia, the Friends will be planting a new boundary hedge of native hawthorn.
At 10.30am on the morning of Tuesday March 18th the Friends will be joined on site by The Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress, children from St Albans RC Primary School, and staff from Bereavements Services and Quadron Services who will be working together to plant 350 hawthorn shrubs to redefine this boundary.
The Friends and Bereavements staff have met on site with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to agree the design and size of this hedge as their requirements are quite specific. Please come along, with your spade, if you would like to help.
The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery will be working on a project relating to an area of War Graves in Brandwood End Cemetery in 2014 and we are pleased to announce that Veolia have kindly awarded us a grant of £500 towards costs.
Watch this site for details of how you can become involved.
On Sunday, 13th November, 2011, a short wreath laying service and two minutes silence for the fallen of the two world wars and conflicts since 1945, will take place at the Cross of Sacrifice at 11.00.a.m. Please join us at 10.50am.
‘They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.’
A short service was held today in Brandwood End Cemetery to honour the fallen. A few friends and onlookers joined The Rev’d Andy Delmege, Vicar of St Bedes Church, Brandwood, to pray and remember the victims of war. Counciller Neville Summerfield laid a wreath on behalf of Birmingham City Council and its constituents. Barrie Simpon laid a wreath on behalf of the Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery and a wreath was laid on behalf of the Royal British Legion.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
Once again Wates have shown true ‘community spirit’.
On a cold, wet and windy day, members of Wates volunteered to turn out to support the Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery in their small act of remembrance in placing a Poppy Cross on every war related grave.
Appropriately, this year we undertook the task on Armistice Day itself, and we actually began work at 11 am – it was on the 11th day, of 11th month, at the 11th hour, when the guns on the ‘Western Front’ finally fell silent.
This is no mean effort, as there are in excess of 350 graves to visit, all scattered throughout this large cemetery some difficult to locate; and all carried out in inclement weather conditions, with cheerfulness and a real sense of dedication to those we are remembering.
Not only did they place the Poppy Crosses, their keenness to support the project while in the cemetery resulted in the discovery of further war related graves, and thereby extended my research.
This is not the first time that they have assisted us and we are extremely grateful for their kind assistance.
On behalf of the Friends, may I yet again express our sincere thanks to Wates in general for being such a ‘community minded’ organisation, and to everyone who took part in particular, for giving up their time.
Barrie Simpson, Vice Chairman, Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery
There will be a short Memorial Service today in Brandwood End Cemetery starting at 1pm. It will take place at the Cross of Sacrifice Island on the Main Drive towards the Broad Lane entrance. There will be a short service, followed by laying of wreaths in remembrance of the fallen. Everyone is welcome to join us to remember our war dead, and pray for those in current conflicts.