The Commonwealth Story - new exhibition at Brookwood Military Cemetery

d3cbaf7f-81c4-42fb-b91f-b6c8c7b5759b

15 March 2018
|
Vimy-Memorial-Commemoration-(13)-03901.jpg Vimy Memorial Commemoration
To mark Commonwealth Day 2018, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has announced a new exhibition at Brookwood Military Cemetery.

To mark Commonwealth Day 2018, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has announced a new exhibition at Brookwood Military Cemetery.

With more than 5,000 Commonwealth war graves, Brookwood Military Cemetery is the largest CWGC Cemetery in the UK and is the final resting place for service personnel from Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK and Ireland.

Join the Family Tree community  
Follow us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Sign up for our free e-newsletter
Discover Family Tree magazine

One of the stories explored in the exhibition is of Pilot Officer George John Drake, who travelled to England to join the Royal Air Force (RAF) in June 1939 after being rejected from the South African Air Force. Piloting a Hurricane fighter plane, he participated in operations over Norway and in the Battle of Britain. On 9 September 1940, he was shot down over the South Coast of England by a German ME109. He was 20 years old.

It wasn’t until 1972 that George’s remains were discovered in Kent and he was transferred to Brookwood to be given a funeral with full military honors, which his brother Arthur and Eric travelled from South Africa to attend. The inscription on his grave simply reads, Always Remembered.

Advertisements

Glyn Prysor, CWGC’s Chief Historian, said: “Brookwood Military Cemetery perfectly encapsulates the contribution of people from across the Commonwealth in the World Wars. Behind every headstone is a life, and we’re proud to showcase some of these stories of courage, fortitude and heartbreak.

The exhibition opens on 9 April 2018 and is housed in the Canadian Records Building at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey. The exhibition is open from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 4.30pm at weekends. Website.

(images copyright CWGC)