A Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery
Armed Forces Day
On Sunday 27th June - Armed Forces Day - the Synagogue opened up its burial ground at Broadgreen to the public.
From 10am till 4pm and manned by volunteer guides we welcomed those who wished to visit our historic site.
It was a great day and from the word off we had a steady stream of visitors of all ages.
They expressed much interest in the grounds, particularly the Memorial Garden dedicated to the members of the congregation who made the ultimate sacrifice in two World Wars. Many questions were asked and the guides were well prepared with answers.
The visitors came from many areas around Liverpool having responded to flyers we had distributed and there was also a banner on the front gate which aroused people’s curiosity.
Many people over time had wondered what lay behind the cemetery walls, by all accounts they were not disappointed.
A Radio Merseyside programme featured why we wanted to open the cemetery on Armed Forces Day - you can listen to it on BBC Sounds HERE
Broadgreen Cemetery on Thomas Drive is the congregation’s fourth cemetery, the others being located at Upper Frederick Street, Oakes Street and Deane Road.
In 1904 land was purchased. An ohel (prayer hall) was built as well as a house for the groundsman and his family.
Whilst Broadgreen is not as historical in terms of the men and women buried there, who laid the foundations for the Jewish Community in the early part of the nineteenth century, it can lay claim to be the resting place of many prominent people of the community, who not only maintained but contributed massively to the further development and status of our city.
As a point of historical interest, at the top right side of the cemetery is a small site containing the remains interred in the congregation’s first two cemeteries. These graves date back to the 1780s.
Also, one must not forget those men of the congregation who made the ultimate sacrifice in two world wars who are buried in the cemetery. Genealogical research has been carried out for all these men, so more information about their lives, their military service and the location of their graves within the cemetery, will soon be available at the cemetery site itself.
On the right side of the Ohel (Prayer House) at Broadgreen cemetery is a wooden Star of David which is one of the original grave markers which marked the grave of an unknown Jewish soldier who died on the Western Front during the First World War, prior to the grave being permanently marked by a stone headstone. These replacements of Stars of David and Crosses started to take place after the war, and in some cases did not take place until the 1930s.
The Broadgreen example being dedicated to an unknown soldier was probably donated to the congregation as a symbolic memorial some time around 1930.
This may be significant in that (to the author’s knowledge) it is the only example of a Star of David memorial to survive. firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2014, a new memorial garden to those who fell in the two World Wars was created and intalled at Broadgreen. For more information, and photos, please click here.
A new groundsman Mike Bell has been engaged and it is his responsibility along with the Burial Board chairman and his deputy to see that the cemetery is maintained to the high standard for which it is known.
Any enquiries should be made to the synagogue office.