Visit to Brookwood Military Cemetery – Saturday 8th September 2018
WFA Surrey Branch has organised a guided tour of the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemetery in the UK. The tour will be led by a group of branch members who act as guides at the cemetery, enabling us to provide a visit tailored to WFA interests. If you have a particular interest or site that you would like to visit then please let us know.
Brookwood Military cemetery is the largest CWGC cemetery in the UK. It contains over 1,600 commonwealth burials from the First World War and nearly 3,500 burials from the Second. The cemetery also has over 700 non-Commonwealth war graves in separate plots including French, Polish, Czech, Dutch, Belgian, Italian and German.
The range and scope at Brookwood provides a backdrop to the story of the CWGC and a unique illustration of the themes present in CWGC cemeteries around the world – from the style and inscriptions on headstones to the architectural and horticultural features around them. Whilst the focus will naturally be on the First World War we will visit a wide range of graves and memorials around the cemetery to help tell our tales. Stories of VADs, tank crew and Sepoys from the Indian Army in the First World War, to female SOE operatives, Bomber Command aircrew and men from the many Allied armies in the Second.
In addition, the tour will visit the adjacent American Military Cemetery, which contains the graves of all the American soldiers from the first world war that are buried in the UK.
The meeting point is at 10.30am on Saturday 8th September in front of the Canadian Memorial Building, just by the main vehicle entrance at the west side of the cemetery.
There will be an opportunity to have lunch after the tour at the White Hart pub in the nearby village of Pirbright. GU24 0LP.
During 2018 there is a small, free exhibition entitled Brookwood: The Commonwealth Story in the Canadian Memorial Building. This aims to provide an insight into the contribution of communities from around the world, who served and lost their lives during both world wars. The exhibition is open from 8.30 (9am weekends) to 16.30 and can be visited before or after the tour if you so wish.
Brookwood is 30 miles from London (M3 to Bagshot, then A322). The entrance to the cemetery (GU24 0JB) is on the A324 Dawney Hill, from the village of Pirbright. Upon entering the cemetery take the first turn on the right and follow the road for about 200m and park in the bay on the left just after the bend. If this is full then park at the side of the road.
Brookwood station has direct trains from is served by South Western trains. The station is a 30- minute walk from the meeting point. Leave the station on the south side and follow signs through the civilian cemetery to the pedestrian gate into the military one.
To help ensure organisation please use the contact below to let us know if you are planning on attending, including if you intend to have lunch at the White Hart afterwards (so we can book tables) or if you have any special interests.
Alan Leakey: firstname.lastname@example.org