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Brookwood American Cemetery
Woking, Surrey County, England
GPS: 51.301427, -0.639682
Dawney Hill - Brookwood
GU 240 JB
Woking, Surrey, UK
Published: October 29, 2019
Total records: 1,032
Brookwood American Cemetery is managed by American Battle Monuments Commission, and sits on the site of Brookwood Cemetery, in Woking.
Brookwood American Cemetery contains the graves of 468 American military dead, including 41 unknown burials. Another 563 names are inscribed upon the walls of the missing, located inside the chapel.
During World War I, more than 2,000 Americans died in the British Isles. The predominant cause of death was pneumonia, a secondary infection from influenza. Others lost their lives at sea, through enemy action or maritime disasters. Some were killed in training accidents on British military posts, or were wounded in Belgium and evacuated to England before succumbing to their injuries.
These men and women were initially interred in temporary cemeteries throughout Britain and Ireland. The largest burial grounds were associated with hospitals at the points of entry and exit – in Liverpool and Winchester. Smaller cemeteries were established on Islay for those killed in the sinkings of the Tuscania and Otranto whose remains were recovered.
Near London, a temporary plot in Brookwood Cemetery was allocated for Americans who died in and around the English capital. At the time of the Armistice, Americans were buried in 99 separate burial grounds throughout the United Kingdom. After the war, it was the policy of the War Department to send remains from the British Isles back to the United States unless family members requested otherwise. Next of kin could elect to have their loved ones remain in Britain for burial in an American military cemetery that would be maintained in perpetuity, or to leave the deceased in their original interment location.
By 1921, the War Department determined that a plot in Brookwood would be a suitable location for an permanent American cemetery. In early 1922, more than 400 burials–most of America’s World War I dead remaining in the British Isles–were moved there. Later that year, the War Department finalized an agreement to use space in Brookwood, in perpetuity, as an American military cemetery.
Congress created the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) in 1923. Over the next several years, while the War Department continued to administer the cemetery, ABMC installed permanent headstones and constructed the chapel, along with other site improvements. In 1934, ABMC assumed responsibility for operating all permanent military cemeteries in Europe, including Brookwood American Cemetery.
During World War II, Brookwood American Cemetery was the only permanent American cemetery in Europe that was continuously operated with institutional oversight. The remaining cemeteries, located in France and Belgium, were evacuated by American ABMC personnel in 1940, prior to the German invasion and subsequent occupation of Western Europe.
After the United States entered World War II, Brookwood American Cemetery was used for the burial of members of the American armed forces who died in England. Between April 1942 and August 1944, over 3,600 remains were laid to rest in plots surrounding the original World War I burial sections. In September 1944, burials of American servicemen began at a temporary cemetery outside Cambridge, and continued there for the remainder of the war. From January through May 1948, the World War II remains at Brookwood American Cemetery were exhumed and transported to Cambridge for re-interment or sent home to the United States at the request of the next-of-kin.
Brookwood American Cemetery is located within the larger Brookwood Military Cemetery, which is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). It includes World War I and II military burials from the United Kingdom and its former colonies and territories, and from nations that fought alongside the British, including Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and France. Eighteen Americans who died while in British service in World War II are buried in plots 20-25 of the CWGC cemetery. These young men joined the British military prior to the United States’ entry into the war. They were members of the Eagle Squadrons, units of the Royal Air Force comprised of American volunteers, and were killed in the Battle of Britain (1939-1940).
Records published below were obtained from the American Battle Monuments Commission on October 29, 2019. Records marked with "Tablets of the Missing" are those persons whose remains were never recovered.