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Surreys Brookwood Military Cemetery

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Whilst on a recent visit to the wonderfully kept and serene Brookwood Military Cemetery it struck me how differently styled the various momuments to the Allied war dead of World War 2 are.

I will start by posting the British area of the Cemetery and continue with the Allies as time permits.

Firstly the entrance gates and plaque.

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The British Forces Memorial to the Missing and those KIA on Commando Raids or in Norway. Notice the blue wreath for the Special Air Service.

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More British graves, all display the relevant insignia and are placed side by side or individually. There does not appear to be any family or Regimental connection and may be just down to space available.

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An interesting Memorial panel showing British forces killed in action in Russia during both World Wars.

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The Cemetery and Monument. Notice, the obvious differences, the grave markers are in the shape of a cross and no obvious reference to Regiment or Corps. The centre of this area is surmounted with a bronze American eagle which overlooks the whole grave area.

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The Canadian area. Most of the graves here are from the failed Dieppe raid and are similar in design to the British grave markers. All appear to bear a Maple leaf and details of the deceased apart from thoswe for the Canadian Air Force and Navy.

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The French Cemetery. The obvious Cross of Lorraine is on show along with a bronze figure of a woman, possibly Victory. There are also Memorial plaques in this area to the French Submarine service and French Airforce.

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The Czechoslovakian Cemetery. A stunning bronze monument and tapered stone grave markers. Very different from the British style but possibly traditional from that country?

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The Polish Cemetery. Again a different style grave marker and another stunning bronze sculpture.

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The Belgium area. A very plain Monument and all grave markers bear the same Belgium Lion regardless of Branch or Service.

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A Turkish area which needs further investiation as to why they ended up in Surrey!

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By the way should anyone need an individual Grave marker photographed let me know. A unique place to visit, I have visited many Cemeteries before but the sheer size and diversity of Brookwood is breath taking.

Finally a tribute to the War Graves Commision who maintain the place in superb condition and allow access to anyone without hinderance.

RIP.

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All American WW2 grave markers are the same, everywhere-- either these crosses or a Star of David. That was a deliberate aesthetic decision-- and a rather effective one, I think.

Here is my great uncle's marker in Normandy for comparison--

Each marker bears name, unit, home state, and date of death.

I'd like to know what the Ottoman( ?) troops are doing there too, if there are English inscriptions on them that you can read next time you visit.

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Will have a look on my next visit Rick. The Turkish area is overlooked by this eagle. As you can just about make out it has the date 1942 on it. (A poor image I'm afraid) To be honest there was too much to see and so I didn't really dig too deeply. Intrguing though...better organise another visit. :cheers:

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I'd like to know what the Ottoman( ?) troops are doing there too, if there are English inscriptions on them that you can read next time you visit.

Are they troops or are they airmen?

If they are troops I have no idea what they were doing in the UK in WW2. There would be Turkish soldier POWs who died in England in WW1, but not in WW2.

If they are airmen I did come across a reference to Turkish aircrew training with the RAF, but I can't remember where exactly.

I suspect that these are the graves of Turkish aircrew killed, not in action, but whilst training with the RAF. A higher % of aircrew were killed whilst training than is usually realised.

Anyone know more?

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Are they troops or are they airmen?

If they are troops I have no idea what they were doing in the UK in WW2. There would be Turkish soldier POWs who died in England in WW1, but not in WW2.

If they are airmen I did come across a reference to Turkish aircrew training with the RAF, but I can't remember where exactly.

I suspect that these are the graves of Turkish aircrew killed, not in action, but whilst training with the RAF. A higher % of aircrew were killed whilst training than is usually realised.

Anyone know more?

I have had a little think about it and remembered where I read about Turks training with the RAF in WW2:

"From there I was posted to Cranwell in Lincolnshire, where I serviced aircraft used to train Turkish Air Force pilots. Some of the same pilots had also received training from the Luftwaffe! Once, one of the Turks, flying a Miles Master, overshot the runway on landing, hit a wall and overturned. The aircraft was completely written off, but he was unhurt."

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/46/a5129246.shtml

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If my memory serves me right they are indeed Airmen. The cemetery is vast and I stumbled on these Turkish graves towards the end of my visit and so didn't pay as much attention as I should have. :banger:

The information regarding crashed Airmen would certainly make sense, coupled with the 1942 date. I wasn't even aware that there were any Turkish nationals training with the RAF, does anyone have further information?

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