Commonwealth War Graves 'Living Memory' in Birmingham
The CWGC’s Living Memory Project remembers the forgotten front; the 300,000 war graves and memorials in Britain from both world wars.
The aim of CWGC’s Living Memory Project is to encourage community groups to discover, explore and remember their local war heritage. Everyone in the UK has at least one war grave three miles from their front door. The CWGC would like people to sign up to the project and take part.
In the Midlands alone, there are more than 24,000 war graves and memorials commemorating men and women from the First and Second World Wars.
Nick Owen, ambassador for CWGC’s Living Memory Project in the Midlands, said:
I’m honoured to be representing the Midlands for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Living Memory Project.
Funding and creative resources are available to help groups identify a CWGC war grave near where they live. This can be to help towards researching about some of those buried locally and to stage a commemorative event.
Birmingham at war
The First World War saw four important hospitals - besides many smaller - posted at Birmingham: the 1st Southern General (3,500 beds) was in the university and other buildings, with a section at Stourbridge; the 2nd/1st Southern General (1,800 beds) in the Dudley Road Infirmary and in billets; the 1st Birmingham War Hospital (1,000 beds) at Rubery Hill Asylum and the 2nd Birmingham War Hospital (900 beds) at Hollymoor Asylum.
Military hospitals were at Birmingham again during the Second World War, including No 7 Canadian Hospital at Marston Green. Birmingham and Coventry were among the chief manufacturing areas producing materials for the war effort and were subjected to many devastating air raids during the Blitz of 1940-41.
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