29 September 2012: The London Requiem
Further to our earlier posting, the Premiere of Benjamin Till's The London Requiem took place in the grounds of Abney Park Cemetery on the evening of 29 September 2012. You can see a video of the full performance here (approx. 50 minutes long). Further videos which explain the inspiration behind each movement can be seen here, with the section on Brookwood featured here.
Brookwood Military Cemetery Open Days
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is arranging two Open Days in the Brookwood Military Cemetery on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 September, 10am to 4pm each day. For further details please visit http://www.cwgc.org/
1 August 2012: The London Requiem
The London Requiem is a new piece of classical music composed by Benjamin Till in 10 movements. The music was written largely in graveyards and cemeteries around London and is inspired by quotations found on memorials there. It takes the traditional Latin text as its basis and augments it with quotations found on the gravestones.
One of the quotations used in the Requiem comes from Brookwood Cemetery. We will update this site with further information about the Requiem, leading up to its first public performance in Abney Park Cemetery on 29 September.
The clip you can view from the above link refers to the 1st Movement – the Introit – and includes a short film about the whole project.
18 July 2012: Great British Islam
This documentary tells the little-known story of three English gentlemen who embraced Islam at a time when to be a Muslim was to be seen to be a traitor to your country. Through personal journeys of still surviving relatives, the programme looks at their achievements and how their legacy lives on today.
The programme was first shown on BBC1 on 18 July and was available on the i-player for 7 days. We do not know if there are plans to repeat it.
We hope these will assist visitors to the cemetery. The sign for the old plot is shown here.
27 March 2012: Fire in Brookwood Cemetery
There was a heath fire in part of Brookwood Cemetery on 27 March. Only a limited section of the cemetery was affected, in an area near plots 55 and 56 beyond All Hallows Avenue. The majority of the fire was centred on the adjoining heathland.
We would like to reassure anyone concerned about family memorials that it is largely the turf that has been fire damaged. As far as we can tell no memorials have been damaged. The Daily Telegraph website has posted a short video showing the fire which clearly indicates how little of the cemetery was affected.
December 2011: New Cemetery Sign
The sign reads "Brookwood Cemetery / Estd. 1852" and is designed to be seen from passing trains, as was the original.
11 December 2011: Funeral of Lieutenant David Boyce
Lieutenant Boyce was killed alongside Corporal Richard Scanlon on 17 November when their armoured vehicle struck a makeshift bomb in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Following a funeral service held in Bath Abbey on 7 December, Lieutenant Boyce's ashes were buried at Brookwood. You can read the official Ministry of Defence communique, the coverage of his death from the BBC Website and the Daily Telegraph.
Pilgrimage Stroll Against Poverty: 15 October 2011
This year's Pilgrimage Stroll Against Poverty took place on 15 October. Organised as part of the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Tish Mason of the Surrey Heath Coalition Against Poverty arranged another group visit to the pauper burial areas of the cemetery. Tim Dodds, Mayor of Surrey Heath, also attended the stroll. The group visited part of the pauper burial sections before moving on to the Cemetery Chapel for short service to remember those who live and die in poverty across the world. As in previous years the purpose of the visit is to remember those who died in poverty, to show solidarity with people living in poverty, and to find out how to help those in poverty. The Brookwood Cemetery Society supported the event by providing refreshments before and after the walk, and having its sales and information stand open. After the walk, participants were invited to a Creative Workshop for families at the Frimhurst Family House, Guildford Road, Frimley Green.
18 September 2011: Celebrating Age Concern Woking's 5th Anniversary
On Sunday 18 September Brookwood played host to Age Concern Woking's 5th anniversary. Around 100 people, including local councillors, clients and sponsors attended the celebration, along with some of the charity's volunteers. Age Concern Woking offers services to help improve the lives of older people. It supports older people who are isolated or have no family to offer them support.
17 September 2011: London's Necropolis: A Perfect Place of Peace
On Saturday 17 September the Association of Garden Trusts and the Surrey Gardens Trust arranged a study day at Brookwood. The main part of the day took place in the Brookwood Memorial Hall. Three main themes were explored by guest speakers in the morning sessions: "The Evolution of the English Cemetery landscape" by Jonathan Lovie; "Sepulchres and Statues; Criteria for Listing of Cemetery Monuments" by Roger Bowdler; and "The Landscape of Brookwood Cemetery" by John Clarke. Following lunch the planned extended tour of the cemetery was curtailed due to heavy rain.
10 June 2011: Funeral of Maqbool Fida Husain
The funeral of Maqbool Fida Husain took place on 10 June 2011. Following a funeral service in London, he was buried in one of the muslim community plots at Brookwood. Widely known as "The Picasso of India" or simply "MF", he left India in 2006 and divided his time between Qatar and London. He is mourned in India and by artists all over the world.
11 May 2011: Visit by Representatives of the Johor Government of Malaysia
We welcomed members of the Johor Government of Malaysia on 11 May 2011. The visit was arranged by Haji Dzul Karnain Asmawi of the Johor Heritage Foundation as part of a research visit to London. He was accompanied by 13 Johor Officials, headed by the Johor Heritage and Cultural Minister, arriving at the cemetery at 10 o'clock. Accompanied by cemetery owner Erkin Guney and Historical Consultant John Clarke, the group visited the old Muslim burial ground and in particular visited the graves of three eminent Johoreans, including the grave of Dato Abdul Rahman Andak.