Hersham – Walton & Weybridge (Burvale) Cemetery

Sarah Paine, if you remember those dreadful days, is buried in this cemetery, and no, I chose not to take a photograph.

My missus’ Mum & Dad are here too.  Her Dad came from Latvia after the Second World War and, although he never told the full story, his war experiences cast a dark shadow for the rest of his life.

Another, more recent visit:


Just inside the other entrance to the cemetery…


..a number of unmarked graves…


…tell the sad story of three fateful minutes during the early afternoon of 4th September 1940.


Just after lunch that day, fourteen Me 110s appeared out of the sun to drop their bombs on the Vickers factory at Brooklands near Weybridge.  In the worst disaster of the Battle of Britain up to that time, 83 men and women were killed, and 419 others were injured.  How sad to think of the people buried in these unmarked graves, who went to work that morning just like any other day, and have lain in this cemetery ever since, unnamed, unknown, and forgotten.


Another unmarked grave, another victim of the bombers. There’s an eye witness account of the raid from one of our readers here.




Another grave I failed to show you previously is that of Odette Marie Celine Hallowes.  Note the honours.  This is  the burial place of the Odette, British spy and Ravensbrück Concentration Camp survivor, immortalised in celluloid in the eponymous 1950 film starring Anna Neagle.






And not so far away, what do you think these might be?  Any suggestions gratefully received.

Update 2016:  Things at Burvale have changed, and most definitely for the better.  One of the great things about this site (for me) is the stuff that you subsequently tell me about once I’ve uploaded a post, and this update is no exception.  Thanks to one of our newer followers, John Sharrock, for the information and the following shots:



The four unmarked graves…

DSC_0644 - Copy

…are still unidentified, but no longer unmarked,…


…and it seems, according to John, that it was always known that William Hunt was buried in the single grave we visited earlier, but that his body was never claimed.  He too now has a headstone (above & below).


Brooklands Funeral

Finally, here’s a photograph of the original burials in September 1940 (courtesy of Elmbridge Museum).

This entry was posted in Surrey, U.K. Churches, Memorials & Cemeteries - Back in Blighty. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Hersham – Walton & Weybridge (Burvale) Cemetery

  1. John Sharrock says:

    Great site. Nice light touch comments. Clearly well-researched.

    There is now a memorial on the site of the four unidentified Brooklands victims. The fifth unmarked grave is of an identified but unclaimed person. Such was the plight of those far from home when they died. That grave is now marked and its dedication was attended by immediate family. Would you like me to post/mail my photos?

    • Magicfingers says:

      Hello John, and firstly, many thanks for your kind comments. I do my best! Secondly, thank you very much for the updates. And thirdly, yes please! Can I mail you off-site so that you have my email address?

    • Colin Williamson says:

      Vickers Memorial, Burvale. William Ernest Hunt was actually born Ernest William Hunt on 9 February 1906 in Monks Coppenhall (Crewe) to Mary Jane Smith (nee Williamson ) and Joseph Hunt. Ernest and his first wife divorced and he remarried in Blackpool on 10 October 1939 to Georgette Valentine Cecile Kirkham (nee Magnier). He was therefore aged 34 and not 36 as stated on the Memorial

    • Nicky says:

      Hi, thank you, I would love to you to post those photos. I am his grandaughter & was there at the memorial along with my mother. She has since died so I it would be a gift to see those photos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.