Memorial Day Service - Sunday 30th May 2021
The images below, except that of the Eagle Pilots are all shown in the album
where they may be expanded. Once again covid restrictions, although eased have reduced the reach and attendance of the service. So, on this ocassion a little background of the Cemetery and its supporters is shown.
The Chapel Memorial Walls
Mrs Caryn R. McClelland, A/Deputy Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Mission to the United Kingdom, in the Cemetery Chapel at one wall of inscriptions commemorating those 'who have no known grave'. In total 564 names are shown of those missing.
All the Chapel Panel inscriptions are shown legibly here.
The Four Plots of Headstones
The Brookwood American Cemetery has its own 4.5 acres in the heart of the Commonwealth War Graves Commissions principal UK cemetery. The US Cemetery was laid out in 1921 by the London Necropolis Company. Outside the Chapel it has four plots honouring 468 men and women.
Mrs Caryn R. McClelland is at the headstone of Private Joseph E Brown 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th Division who died on the 2nd Oct 1918.
The WW2 Eagle Squadrons
Brigadier General Jefferson J. O'Donnell, Defence Attache US Embassy & Surrey's Deputy Lieutenant Commander Susan Lochner JP DL RN at the grave of American Eagle Pilot Flight Lieutenant Andrew B Mamedoff. The General is a command pilot with over 370 combat hours. 244 Americans served in the 71st, 121st & 133rd RAF Eagle Squadrons. In Sep 1942 these transferred to the USAAF as the 334th, 335th & 336th.
Image far left Angelo Munsel (centre) Superintendent with his team (L to R) Ashley, Cliff, Gail and Steve. The image at right has the team ready to place our national flags at each headstone in preparation for a Memorial Day service.
The Commemorations & Celebrations
Each Memorial Day Service here in May focusses on the men and women of America who served & perished in World War I and World War II and on Veterans Day each November the service of all veterans is celebrated. 'Armed Forces Day', dating from 1950 recognises & honors all Americans serving in the military.
The 501st Photographer
Senior Airman Jennifer Zima, 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs Journeyman at work in the Chapel capturing the commemoration events. By recording these and similar events the armed forces continue their pledge to honour our dead. Jennifer's images are here.
Families: whether of those serving, those who have served, those who sacrificed their lives or the beneficiaries of that service, remembrance lives onward in the hearts & minds of our children.
'No man is an island, Entire of itself; ... Each man's death diminishes me, For I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know For whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee.' John Donne
The Chapel - from the ABMC archive
The Trench Experience & Estaminet
'Bomber' Jerry Hall's iconic Willys Jeep has been used to raise thousands of pounds for charitable causes. Here L to R are Chief Master Sergeant Michael J. Venning; Colonel Jon T. Hannah Commander 422nd Air Base Group, Brigadier General Jefferson J. O'Donnell & Commander Susan Lochner RN.
The Estaminet, reinventing a petit café populaire à la française serving alcohol & coffee, and surrounds are part of the 'Trench Experience'
a charity dedicated to educating the public about sacrifices made by men & women during the Great War.
Also attending & shown in the album: Councillor Liam Lyons, Mayor of Woking; Councillor Kevin Davis here representing the 'Last Post Association'; and Robert 'Bob' Thomson representing the CWGC; with Terry Spierling, historian & archivist with specialist interest in the American Military Cemetery, Brookwood.
Standard Bearers: US National Flag; Eddie Jones: UK National Flag; Jim Seaford. Ceremonial Military Trumpeter; Heidi Watkins.
NB: any inaccuracies in name, title or information then tell me.