Brookwood, March 20, 2019. We had an interesting meeting in Czechoslovak Section of Brookwood War Cemetery with Mrs. Gerry Manolas from Memorial Association for Free Czechoslovak Veterans. Together with the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in London, we honored the memory of Czechoslovak soldiers. We also dedicated a special memory to Milan Píka, a Slovak and Czech brigadier general, member of RAF and member of foreign resistance movement, who died in Bratislava on March 20, 2019. Milan Píka was son of a general Heliodor Píka a Czechoslovak army officer who was executed by his country’s Communist regime after a show trial in a kangaroo court. We also dedicated a memory to general Ivan Otto Schwarz, a member of RAF, a native from Bytča (Slovakia) who died in 2018 at the age of 93.
Memorial Association for Free Czechoslovak Veterans was founded to honour and remember all Czechoslovak World War II veterans and service personnel who fought with the Allies. The Association takes care of the Czechoslovak military graves at Brookwood Military Cemetery. This cemetery covers about 37 acres (15 ha) and is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the United Kingdom. The land was set aside during World War I to provide a burial site for men and women of Commonwealth and American armed forces who died in the United Kingdom of injuries and other causes. Nowadays it contains 1,601 Commonwealth burials from World War I and 3,476 from World War II.
The Memorial Association also takes care of the graves of a Czech and Slovak compatriots, members of the Czechoslovak Armed Forces and their family members who have remained in the United Kingdom after the World War II. After the war they bought a neighboring plot in a civil part of the cemetery where these graves are located. In this space will be a sick Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) replacing by the Tree of Peace. This cemetery is an ideal place for planting a Tree of Peace in the United Kingdom.