Memorial to Dr Gottlieb William Leitner (1840-1899).Carrara bust within a pink granite surround. Mason unknown. Leitner’s bewhiskered bust is set within a curved niche: around it, in raised letters, is the inscription THE LEARNED ARE HONOURED IN THEIR WORK.Dr Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner was responsible for making Woking a major centre for Islam in Britain. He is one of several famous people buried at Brookwood who have an entry in the┬áDictionary of National Biography. A noted linguist and academic, he founded over 80 institutions in India and elsewhere, including the University of Lahore. In 1884 Dr Leitner founded the Oriental Institute in Woking. This was designed to become a European centre for the study of oriental culture, history and languages.

In the late 1890s the Oriental Institute began awarding degrees under the auspices of the University of Lahore, but it closed for ever in the summer following Dr Leitner’s death. Two reminders of the Oriental Institute survive in Woking: the Mosque and Oriental Road, named after the Institute.

Dr Leitner is buried in plot 2.

The Woking (or Shah Jehan) Mosque is shown in the image to the right. It was designed by the architect W.I. Chambers and opened in 1889.

The following links give further information about Dr Leitner:

Woking Muslim Mission article on Dr Leitner
Wikipedia entry for Dr Leitner
Some of Dr Leitner’s articles on Islam