Bramley Baptist Churchyard War and Remembered Graves Clean-up – Background:
Bramley (Zion) Baptist Churchyard covers 8 acres and is over 200 years old.
It is privately owned by the church with the vast majority of graves privately owned by the families that originally purchased the graves. With in the case of older graves there are no up to date contact details for current descendants of the owners.
A combination of size, subsidence and sheer scale of upkeep means that the graveyard away from the areas closest to the church is in a state of disrepair.
Included in the graves are around 80 that are either Official War Graves (white headstones) covering World Wars One and Two and what are termed “Remembered” graves that carry a memorial or inscription to a family member who died on service but either have no known grave or are buried overseas.
Included in the War Graves is the only woman named on Bramley War Memorial and also the first member of the Leeds Pals to die in service.
Included in the Memorials in the Churchyard is the second in command of the SAS, born in Bramley and posted missing in action in 1943.
All honour a fallen man or woman of Bramley and reflect the sacrifice they gave.
In 2014, through a combination of discussion on Memories of Bramley Facebook Group and the impetus created by the Unveiling of Bramley War Memorial, a volunteer group undertook to clean, cut and dress the graves in the months up to Remembrance Sunday.
In 2015 with more volunteers the work commenced on March 11th.
During the summer of 2015, there were weekly sessions at all other times the sessions were fortnightly.
In 2016 and 2017 there was no winter break and sessions were held at least fortnightly
The aim is to keep the graves well tended and place flowers on specific anniversary days and on all relevant graves for the Remembrance period.
A secondary aim is to ensure the whole churchyard is litter and fly tipping swept every fortnight.
All labour and materials are donated by the group with, for example, 100 roses donated by the local florist and a JCB provided by Darren Sykes of Fallwood Marina, Rodley.
The link below lists all the fallen and can be cross referenced to the Map at the start of the photos. Thanks to Ian Johnstone for updating the Map in November 2016.