New Forest District
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The Parish Church, St. Nicholas. Christians have worshipped on the site since AD737. The Domesday Book records the church as being in "Broceste", as the Normans called Brockenhurst, and it is regarded as the oldest church in the Forest. It stands on top of a hill overlooking the Village, the railway station and the level crossing on the A337 Lymington Road. The Church was enlarged by the Victorians but in the south wall of the old Nave there is some Saxon herring-bone masonry. The South doorway is a fine example of Norman work with chevron mouldings. The Arms of Queen Anne are displayed above and to the side of this door. The Purbeck stone, lead lined font, is Norman. Services are held each Sunday at 11.15am and 6pm. In the churchyard, to the left of the south entrance porch, is an ancient Yew Tree, estimated to be well over 1,000 years old.
Due to its proximity to the port of Southampton, its railway connections and an abundance of large houses in the area, Brockenhurst was chosen in 1915 by the War Office to become a hospital centre. Initially, Lady Hardinge's Hospital (named after the wife of the Viceroy of India) for the Indian troops of the Lahore and Meerut Divisions was established south of the village. This was then replaced by No.1 New Zealand General Hospital in June 1916, after the Indian Divisions were replaced by ANZAC troops. The New Zealand Hospital remained at Brockenhurst until closed early in 1919. The churchyard contains 109 graves of the First War, of which one hundred are in the New Zealand plot. In addition to the 93 New Zealand graves, there are also three East Indian and three unidentified Belgian civilians (employed at the Sopley Forestry camp). On the East side of the New Zealand plot is a memorial incorporating a Cross.
St. Nicholas' Churchyard (God's Acre in the BBC TV series) is now managed by the Parish Council. The Imperial War Graves Commission cares for 100 soldiers graves, among them 93 New Zealanders, 1 Australian and 3 East Indians. These men were among the thousands of casualties of the first World War brought from France for treatment in the wartime Brockenhurst Hospital. In commemoration, an Anzac Service is held each year in the churchyard on the Sunday nearest to the 25th April, Anzac Day, attended by members of the Royal British Legion, village organisations and representatives from the New Zealand High Commission. The Annual Remembrance Day Service takes place at 10.00am in St. Saviours' Church, followed by a parade to the wreath-laying service at the Cenotaph in the Memorial Garden, Sway Road.