17th May 2023
Czechoslovak WWII Veterans at Brookwood
On Sunday 14th May, The Lord-Lieutenant visited Brookwood Military Cemetery to tour the memorials for Czechoslovak Veterans from World War Two.
Invited by the Memorial Association for Free Czechoslovak Veterans (MAFCSV), he was met by Chair, Gerry Manolas and toured ‘The Memorial to the Missing’
The Brookwood 1939-1945 circular ‘Memorial to the Missing’ was designed by Ralph Hobday and unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II on 25 October 1958. It commemorates 3,500 men and women of the land forces of the Commonwealth who died during WWII and have no known grave. It also includes special agents who died as prisoners, or whilst working with Allied underground movements.
The Czechoslovak National Memorial stands in Plot 28. In 1942 an urgent need arose to find space for a mass grave where the Czechoslovak airmen could be interred after their Wellington bomber crashed. The entire the plot was purchased by the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) for £75 from the London Necropolis Company and it was agreed with Air Vice Marshal Karel Janoušek (KBE) that it would thereafter be used as a military cemetery for Czechoslovak air force casualties around London with a capacity for 50 graves.
By the Czechoslovak Memorial are the graves of 46 Czechoslovak RAF airmen, with 3 more amongst the RAF rows opposite the RAF building. These are Czechoslovak service personnel who were killed on active service whilst serving in the RAF.
The inscription on the back of the memorial states ‘In memory of the soldiers of the Czechoslovak Armed Forces killed in the Second World War and buried in the cemeteries of the United Kingdom’.
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