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Prince Edward unveils new Woking peace garden

Prince Edward unveils new Woking peace garden

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 4:53pm 12th November 2015. (Updated at 4:54pm 12th November 2015)

His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex has been in Woking today to unveil a new peace garden.

It's based inside the Woking Muslim Burial Ground where 27 Muslim soldiers from both WW1 and WW2 are buried.

The official plaque was officially unveiled after prayers read from Reverend J L Vincent and Imam Asim Hafiz Ma inside the new garden, as well as a minute silence.

Guests were then invited back to the Shah Jahan Mosque for refreshments and several speeches, including one from Sophena Alison Chisembele, daughter of leading aircraftman Youssif Ali who is buried at the site.

(Prince Edward officially unveils the new garden)

Also in attendance was the Defence Minister, Lord Howe, he tells Eagle Radio:

"It's a fantastic garden and the event today I think demonstrates how much we should congratulate the local and national partners.

"The 27 birch trees are a wonderful touch, as is the water which is a traditional feature of Muslim gardens.

"Gardens themselves are very much in the Islamic tradition places of peace, tranquility, reflection, which makes this I believe an ideal place for Muslims to come and remember the sacrifice their people made in defence of our freedom.

"I hope it will be a place of reflection and pilgrimage for Muslim people for many years to come."

Woking Peace Garden

(During the one minute silence)

Located on the south east corner of Horsell Common, the Muslim Burial Ground was commissioned in 1915.

By 1984, the unique site had been recognised by English Heritage and made a Grade II listed building.

Yet over the coming years the site remained dormant and fell into disrepair.

During the summer of 2013, works to restore the unique Grade II listed Muslim Burial Ground to its former glory and create a garden of peace and remembrance commenced.

Woking Peace Garden

(Zafar Iqbal with Mayor of Woking, Cllr Derek McCrum and Prince Edward after the unveiling)

Part of that creation was Zafar Iqbal from Woking Borough Council who was leader of the project:

"I think it's important that a member of the royal family came to open this site to give it the importance that it deserves.

"I was very pleased and very impressed with his comments and his understanding of what this was about."

 

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