Many of the men and women from Essex who served in armed units are buried in the UK.Sometimes the burial took place at their home churchyard and sometimes at churchyards near to their barracks.
The headstone in Burnham on Crouch Cemetery for Lance Cpl Leslie Thomas on the 7th Essex who died on 16 April 1941
The Commonwealth War Graves headstones criteria is explained on the War Cemeteries page but would be available to anyone who was a member of the Commonwealth armed forces and who died of illness or injury sustained during the war before August 1921 for World War One or December 1947 in relation to World War Two.
The headstones were not obligatory so some people who died within the period will have either a normal headstone or no markings at all.
Members of the armed services who died after the qualifying dates may well have their Regiment marked on their headstone but they will not have the familiar CWGC version.
The Commonwealth War Graved website will provide the location of all graves bearing an official Headstone.
Finding the Grave
Most burial grounds or churches have maps showing the location of the graves. If you have made contact with a churchwarden or council official they may be able to tell you exactly where to go.
If you are visiting without prior contact there is no easy answer .
Some churchyards allocate plots in strict date order, some allocate family plots together and some allocate at random.
Churchyards near to barracks or in areas with a military connection may have areas set aside for military graves.
Most churchyards have plots in straight rows so the safest practice is to work out which direction the rows run and then walk along the rows checking each headstone in turn until you find your headstone.
NEVER rub or scrape a headstone without permission from the Parochial Church Committee and with the advice of an expert. Once a headstone has deteriorated incorrect cleaning will often destroy the information for ever.
When you find your headstone don't forget to photograph it to add to your family tree details.