In clear, cold autumn sunshine on Oct. 25, the Queen unveiled the new Brookwood Memorial in the Brookwood military cemetery, near Woking, Surrey.
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Background: In clear, cold autumn sunshine on Oct. 25, the Queen unveiled the new Brookwood Memorial in the Brookwood military cemetery, near Woking, Surrey. More than 5,400 Commonwealth and Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen are buried there.
The Memorial commemorates 3,500 men and women of the Commonwealth and Empire Forces "to whom the fortune of war denied a known and honoured grave".
More than 7,000 people attended the memorial service, including relatives who had flown from Canada and Australia, and ex-members of the resistance movements in Europe. Among the names of resistance fighters engraved on the Memorial is that of Violette Szabo G.C., who was killed by NAZI forces in France.
The Memorial is an open circular colonnade of Portland stone. Sixteen piers support a narrow roof above which rises a low clerestory. The names of those commemorated are carved on 28 panels of green slate set on either face of 14 of the piers. A curved stone wall between the remaining piers, facing into the central court, bears an inscription telling the object of the Memorial. Eventually this wall will be surrounded by a wide grassed walks bounded by curved yew hedges with recessed seats and flower beds, the whole framed by eight weeping willows.
When she had unveiled the Memorial, the Queen said, "For you who loved and remember the fallen,as relatives or friends, their memory is more than a name written on a monument. Had those whom we commemorate not stood fast in the path of tyranny, our Commonwealth and all that it represents would have perished. Let us therefore give thanks to God that such men and women lived and died, and by their death preserved for us our heritage of freedom."
Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, The Queen Mother, The Duke of Gloucester, the Duchess of Kent Princess Alexandra and representatives of the Services and Commonwealth, the Queen laid a wreath of carnations and roses on the monument. Later she talked with friends and relatives of the fallen.