Canadian flag tulips for Surrey war graves cemetery

Tulips at Brookwood Military Cemetery Image copyright Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Image caption The new tulips were developed by Dutch growers to mark Canada's 150th anniversary

Maple leaf-inspired tulips are blooming in tribute to more than 2,700 Canadian servicemen and women buried at a military cemetery.

The flowers at Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey mark Canada's 150th anniversary and the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's centenary.

Dozens of the Canada150 bulbs planted in January, have flowered with white leaves and red flames to echo the national flag.

An exhibition has opened to the public.

Image copyright Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Image caption The tulips have markings similar to the Canadian maple leaf flag
Image copyright Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Image caption The bulbs were planted among the Canadian war graves in January and are now blooming

The bulbs were donated to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission (CWGC) by the Canadian High Commission in London and planted at the beginning of the year.

David Richardson, CWGC's director of horticulture, said: "Being planted in late January, we weren't sure if the bulbs would flower in time for spring but they have come up a treat.

"It's a wonderful tribute to the Canadians buried at Brookwood in this the country's 150th year and the CWGC's 100th year."

Brookwood cemetery has more than 5,000 war graves in the 37 acre site, with just over 1,600 from World War One and more than 3,400 from the Second World War.

About 2,400 Canadian graves of those killed in during World War Two are in a plot in the west corner of the cemetery including those of 43 men who died of wounds following the Dieppe Raid in August 1942.

The Canadian Records building, which was a gift of the Canadian government in 1946, will be home to the CWGC's centenary exhibition between 20 May and 19 November.

Image copyright Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

  • The commission is a not-for-profit intergovernmental organisation, founded by Fabian Ware and constituted through Royal Charter in 1917.
  • The key aim of the organisation is to honour the 1,700,000 men and women of the forces of the Commonwealth who died in the two world wars and ensure their memory is never forgotten.
  • The commission operates in more than 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries.
  • It also holds an extensive and accessible records archive.
  • Other events marking the CWGC's centenary include staging a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the last week of May.

(Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

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