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Remembered Today:

Brookwood Cemetery and CWGC.


chrislock
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My Uncle was a WW1 veteran and CWGC gardener at Brookwood. As a young 10 to 13 year old lad, I was sent to their cottage in the cemetery, for the duration of every summer school holiday! I can remember mowing the lawns on a sit and beg motor mower and watching the relatives of Muslim faith deceased, wash and clean them before burial. I can also remember, assisting my Uncle and the other gardeners, re inter soldiers from WW2. I think they could of been American soldiers, but I can't be sure! I have not been back since then and I would now like to re visit and put some ghosts to bed.

Doe's anyone know, if the cemetery is still of the same design today, regarding layout, access and buiding use of 1968? I would be most grateful for any assistance! I have sent an email to CWGC HQ and await their reply also.

Best regards, Chris.

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Don't confuse Brookwood Cemetery with Brookwood Military Cemetery. They are adjacent but different.

I think you will find the cemetery just the same though a couple of memorials may have been built since you were last there - and the Chelsea Pensioners plot would have got much larger.

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Thanks guys. I am aware of both cemeteries. I had to walk through the woods of the civilian plot from our cottage and then across the main road into the military plot. I was also paid half a crown a day to trap squirrels and moles. There was a large lean to shed like building against the wall. I'm sure it was just inside on the right when you go in from the layby main entrance, where all the gardeners met in the morning and had their lunch. I remember being fascinated by the amount of tools and mowers etc. I think I also had my very first woodbine there. It was also my last! GASP!! :lol: It was also the first time I saw decomposing bodies and the smell has been with me ever since. I remember once, I had to recover a rotting human corpse from a cess pit tank! This was about 30 years later and before I climbed into the tank, I knew what was in there due to the awfull smell inside! Some things you just don't forget! :o

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Chris

Phil Henry is your man, he has spent more time at Brookwood than I have down the pub :lol:

Andy

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Hi again Chris

I think that when you knew the civilian section of the cemetery it would probably have been at the best it's been since pre WW2.

The basic layout (avenues etc) of this part of the cemetery will probably not have changed that much, but large areas were neglected during the 70s and early 80's and became very overgrown. More recently there has been a lot of clearance work carried out because of that and problems with ground water levels; some of the older trees have gone through old age and the ravishes of the weather etc. Also due to its location, and despite efforts to prevent it, vandalism and age have, inevitably, taken their toll on a lot of the memorials. One of the stations (North) was demolished in the late 60s; the other burnt down in 1972. The Anglian chapels are now owned by the St Edward Brotherhood and have been restored by them for worship (The relics of St Edward the Martyr are held here) and accomodation with a newly built accomodation building recently opened. The most noticeable change is the development of the area of the Superintendent's office with a large (and, in my opinion, totally out of place) office block! Other than this Office block, viewed from the road, Cemetery Pales, with the caretaker's house and entrance half way down on the left hand side , is probably much as you would remember it (don't know about the lean to though), although some of the walling has had to be rebuilt in recent years. Pirbright village will still be very recognisable to you, but, if you used to venture slightly further afield to Woking you'd find a lot of it totally unrecognisable from how it was in the 60's.

"London's Necropolis: A guide to Brookwood Cemetery" by John Clarke (Sutton 2004 ISBN 0-7509-3513-8) gives a history of the whole site (including CWG) as well as descriptions of the more noteworthy memorials and burials.

Was your uncle involved with the upkeep of the WWI Muslim Cemetery at nearby Horsell Common at all? This was, I believe the responsibility of the CWGC until sometime in the 60s when, again due to vandalism, the remains of the soldiers buried there were removed to Brookwood CWG.

Nigel

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Hi Nigel.

Thank you for your in depth reply. Please forgive me, but my memory is not that great however, I'm sure I did not go to Horsell Common. Whether he worked there though is another story! All the family are long deceased so I can't realy turn to anyone. That is the reason I'm fishing here due to my crap memory! Your reply is most appreciated and it give's me some ammunition for my visit. Thank you!

Best regards, Chris.

Andy. I can't locate him in the members section! Can you confirm spelling etc please?

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Hi Chris

When are you planning to visit Brookwood? If I can be of any help please let me know.

Thanks for the reference Andy :lol:

Regards

Phil Henry

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Thanks Phil and that's the problem. I'm not sure when ! I have your pm details now so if all OK, can I contact you later in the year please? I will then have the right questions and your info will be fresh!

Chris.

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