New memorial to First World War dead unveiled
04 November 2015
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, today (4 November) inaugurated a new war memorial during a special ceremony at Brookwood Military Cemetery, near Woking in Surrey.
The Brookwood 1914-1918 Memorial is dedicated to the memory of more than 260 First World War servicemen who died in the United Kingdom and Ireland, or at sea, but who have no known grave. Many of the names are of newly recognised war casualties, whose details were omitted from official records produced during, and shortly after, the First World War.
These missing names predominately relate to soldiers and officers who died of their injuries away from the battlefield. Many died whilst still in service, but casualties who were discharged as unfit because of their injuries and subsequently died may also be eligible for commemoration.
The cases are coordinated and presented to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) by families, historians and researchers, but particularly a group of dedicated volunteers who have formed the In From the Cold Project. Each case is evaluated and forwarded to the relevant government for a final decision.
His Royal Highness said: "This new memorial, the latest to be constructed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, reaffirms our commitment to remember all those servicemen and women who died, no matter where or how they lost their lives. It will I hope become a place of pilgrimage for the families of those here named, but also to future generations who will see these names and this memorial as a place to visit, to give thanks for that selfless sacrifice and to remember."
Pamela Haines, whose relative Thomas Ernest Neppiras, is one of those named on the new memorial said: "I was absolutely thrilled to be invited to attend and participate in the unveiling of the Brookwood 1914-1918 Memorial because it includes my Great Uncle's inscription. Having searched for him for many years, we're so grateful to the CWGC for this wonderful act of remembrance."
Mr Martin Emmison, whose Great Uncle, Arthur Henry Moorhead, is also named added:
"As a family we knew that my great uncle, Arthur Moorhead, served as an Indian Army Medical Officer. Now, with grateful thanks to the CWGC, we have a memorial at which we can honour his memory.
"It makes us both proud and humble to know that my great uncle very likely tended to some of the Indian soldiers whose deaths are commemorated in this cemetery."
Mr Terry Denham, on behalf of the In From the Cold Project, said: "When the In From the Cold Project was set up in 2006, we didn't appreciate the scale of the task before us, nor did we envisage our work leading to the creation of a new memorial at Brookwood.
"The Project's motto is, Sacrifice Remembered and our aim has always been to see these men and women receive their proper recognition.
"With the building of the new CWGC Brookwood 1914-1918 Memorial, we feel we have ensured this is the case."
The new memorial, designed by the CWGC's architect, is formed of a number of stelas on which names are engraved. The memorial has been designed so that new names can be added as additional cases are accepted and demonstrates that, even a century on, the task of commemoration continues.
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