Plaques found at Canvey church had been buried for 40 years

Reverend discovers plaques buried for 40 years in garden of Canvey church

Pride of place – Rev Peter Mallinson with the plaque commemorating church warden William Budd. Picture taken by Echo photographer Steve O'Connell

Private Robert Monteith’s plaque. Picture taken by Echo photographer Steve O'Connell

First published in Echo News by

HISTORIC plaques have been unearthed under a dilapidated garden shed after remaining hidden for 40 years.

Reverend Peter Mallinson made the unexpected discovery when he found the three plaques buried under a shed in the garden of St Anne’s Church, in St Anne’s Road, on Canvey.

It is thought they were placed in the shed for safe keeping when the new church building was installed in 1974.

The first plaque dates back to 1911 and celebrates the coronation of King George V, grandson to Queen Victoria.

It originally stood in the old church, which was pulled down in 1974, next to a bell commemorating the coronation.

The second wooden plaque, which was severely damaged when it was discovered, commemorates heroic Canvey soldier Private Robert Monteith who was a lay reader at the church.

Private Monteith served with the 9th Battalion Essex Regiment and died for his country aged just 26 at Flanders Fields in September 1918.

It was just weeks before the war ended.

The final plaque is in memory of William Budd, who was a church warden and passed away in 1917.

Rev Mallinson said: “We had to remove the shed because it was falling apart, but I certainly never expected to find these underneath it.

“I’m not sure how long they have been there, I’m presuming they were put there for safe keeping while the new church was being built, and we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this year.

“They must’ve just been forgotten about.”

Following their discovery they are back where they belong, taking pride of place on the church wall having been lovingly restored.

Rev Mallinson said: “I am absolutely delighted to have found them. I cannot believe how well they have been restored. They are part of the church’s history and they belong here.”

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:00pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Kim Gandy says...

How apt that they should be found now and installed just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Great War.
How apt that they should be found now and installed just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Great War. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree