Great Burstead Church

Personal Connections

German Graves at Great Burstead
Basildon Heritage

When we lived at South Green in the 1950’s and 60’s, Great Burstead was our local Parish Church and it holds many cherished memories and family connections. My grandfather, mother, auntie and older brother all sang in the church choir at different times. I went to Sunday School there a few times and can remember Rev. Geoffrey Holley walking down the aisle to play the organ which was then situated at the western end of the nave.

Many relatives were married at the church including my grandfather and his 2nd wife in 1948, two aunties, one uncle, my parents in 1938 and three cousins who were all sisters in the Capon family living in Mill Road. Rev. Holley conducted my wedding service in 1972.

My paternal grand parents are interred in the old cemetery as well as my maternal great grand parents, whose family grave I spent many hours refurbishing in 2014.

The church has a rich medieval history but in more recent times it was locally famous for the resting place of the 22 German airmen whose L32 Zeppelin was shot down near Jacksons Lane in 1916.

Their bodies were exhumed in 1966 and reburied in the military cemetery at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire.

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  • My dad was in the choir during the 1930’s and his ashes are buried in the graveyard. Sadly my mum joined him in January this year. I have grand parents, uncles, aunts and cousins buried there. So a very special place in my heart. I remember Rev. Holly very well he was our Chaplin at Billericay School. I left Billericay in 1972 but have an army of cousins still living in and around the town.

    By Terry Walden (24/12/2020)
  • Hi Terry
    I was head Chorister at around the same time. I live at 100 Church street, do you remember me.

    By William Barton (21/12/2020)
  • I was always told this was a plague victim ???? I remember seeing the grave in the 1960’s

    By Christine (25/08/2019)
  • I have noticed a very old grave stone down the church with a skull and crossbow on it. Does anyone know the history of this?

    By Helen (19/04/2017)

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