ChurchesThe Churches in Ashingdon Parish
There are 4 Churches in the Ashingdon Parish : St Andrew’s Church, All Saints’ Church in Fambridge Road, The United Free Church beside Ashingdon School and another one much closer – the Elim Pentecostal Church on the Hawkwell side of the main road, almost opposite the Ashingdon and Hawkwell Memorial Hall and King George’s Field. The Elim Church now use the Memorial Hall as their church for all services, so they are now truly within our Parish.
The original Elim church was a corrugated iron building with a fully curved roof, looking like a WW2 Nissen hut. It was bought as war surplus after WW1 in the early 1920s and it was erected just inside Clifton Road at the back of their plot on Ashingdon Road beside Clifton Road. The Bethany Hall church opened in Ashingdon in 1923. The new, present brick built Elim Church was first built in the early 1960s and became the main church building while the old Bethany Hall was used for other purpose – church hall and separate functions. The present brick built Elim Church building was extended about 1976 during which time the old Bethany Hall was used again more often. Soon after the new extension to the church was finished and it was in full use, the old metal Bethany Hall was demolished, at least by 1977.
Ashingdon has a War Memorial in the village – the Memorial is our local village hall. The Ashingdon and East Hawkwell Memorial Hall is situated in Ashingdon Road beside the entrance to King George’s Field and opposite Ashingdon Post Office. The actual memorial comprising of polished brass plaques with the names of all those who died in various wars engraved on them, is mounted on the inside of the front wall of the Memorial Hall. The memorial is visible from inside the hall only and any person wishing to see the memorial is welcome to enter the hall whenever it is open, or, the hall may be opened for viewing by special arrangement.
The War Memorial plaques list the names of 35 people who gave their lives in the cause of fighting for and defending their country and their allies.
The European War or The Great War (now known as The First World War or WW1) : 21 names
The Second World War or WW2) : 9 British names and 4 USAAF names
The Afghanistan War (still in progress) : 1 name
Ashingdon is honoured with the presence of one war grave of a local young man Private Thomas (Tommy) Miller, Royal Engineers who served and died aged 21 during the Second World War. One parishioner, told us that he went to Ashingdon School with Thomas Miller whom they called Eddie. He went to war in The Royal Engineers and suffered injuries while riding a motorcycle on military service. Other war graves can be found in Canewdon, Hawkwell, Hockley and Rochford churchyards.
Ashingdon is also the location of a Second World War aircraft crash site where 4 brave young American airmen lost their lives when their USAAF Martin B26 Marauder “Lilly Commando” crashed near Canewdon Road.