Woking's Muslim Burial Ground
Located on the south east corner of Horsell Common, near to Woking's Shah Jahan Mosque, the Muslim Burial Ground was commissioned in 1915.
Originally known as the Woking Muslim War Cemetery, the site was designed by architect T.H. Winney and completed in 1917 by local firm, Ashby & Horner Ltd. Its distinctive architectural features such as a traditional domed archway entrance, known as a Chattri, minarets and ornate red brick walls reflected the Mughal style of the nearby mosque.
The site became the final resting place of 19 Muslim soldiers from the Great War and a further eight casualties of the Second World War. All 27 servicemen fought in different regiments for the Allied troops. Many were recruited from what is now known as Pakistan.
Pink and white heathers adorned the front of each gravestone, all facing towards to Mecca, Islams holiest city, whilst Yew trees greeted mourners to the site.
Local people tended the grounds until 1921 when the upkeep of the cemetery was taken over by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. In 1969, the decision was made by the Commission to exhume the bodies and reinter them at the larger Brookwood Military Cemetery.
Now known as the Muslim Burial Ground, ownership of the site was granted to Horsell Common Preservation Society (HCPS), owner of the surrounding common land.
By 1984, the unique site had been recognised by English Heritage and designated as a Grade II listed building (No. 1236560). Yet over the coming years the site remained dormant and fell into disrepair.
It wasn't until 2011 thoughts turned to renovating the site to its former glory and the creation of an Islamic-inspired Peace Garden as lasting legacy of the 27 servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice and mark the centenary commemorations of the Great War.