Brookwood Memorial

Brookwood Memorial

The Brookwood Memorial stands in the large Military Cemetery, which forms part of the London Necropolis at Brookwood, west of Woking, 48 kilometres by road from London. It commemorates 3,475 men and women of the land forces of the British Commonwealth and Empire who died during the Second World War and whose names could not appropriately be recorded on any of the campaign memorials in the different theatres of war.

The Memorial is an open rotunda of Portland stone, standing on a low paved platform reached by broad flights of steps alternating with raised flower bastions. Piers radiating from a central grassed court separate sixteen roofed bays in the circular building. On either face of each pier a panel of green slate bears the names of the remembered dead.

Facing into the central court a curved stone panel carries the inscription:

1939-1945

THIS MEMORIAL BEARS THE NAMES OF THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED MEN AND WOMEN OF THE FORCES OF THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AND EMPIRE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY AND IN MANY FOREIGN LANDS, IN HOME AND

DISTANT WATERS, IN THE CAMPAIGN OF 1940 IN NORWAY AND IN LATER RAIDS ON THE COASTS OF EUROPE, AND TO WHOM THE FORTUNE OF WAR DENIED A KNOWN AND HONOURED GRAVE

Immediately above this inscription are engraved the words:

THE ETERNAL GOD IS THY REFUGE AND UNDERNEATH ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS

The garden in which the Memorial stands is at the south end of the Canadian Section (Second World War) of Brookwood Military Cemetery, on the far side of St. Lawrence Avenue - the highway leading in from the main entrance on the Pirbright road.

Where They Died

Some perished in ships that were sunken in waters outside the territorial limits of any major campaign; some were lost overboard; some died from various causes on hospital ships or troop transports and were given burial at sea. Also commemorated are those who died during the campaign in Norway in 1940, and in raids on enemy-occupied territory in Europe, including the costly operation against Dieppe in August 1942. There are names too of men and women who served as special agents and died as prisoners or while working with Allied underground movements. A few whose bodies were never recovered were killed in flying accidents or in battle in the air.

The names of members of the United Kingdom forces make up the bulk of those who are remembered on the Memorial; the names of 199 Canadians form the second largest total.

Directions

Brookwood is 30 miles from London (M3 to Bagshot and then A322). The main entrance to Brookwood Military Cemetery is on the A324 from the village of Pirbright. There is a direct train service from Waterloo to Brookwood Station from which there is an entrance to the cemetery.

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