Deaths, burials and cremations

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – registering a death

Thurrock Register Office is taking appointments by phone to register a death. Deaths must be registered within 5 days from the date of death.

You will need to contact the GP's surgery to confirm that the 'Medical Certificate of Cause of Death' will be scanned and sent by email to before your appointment. If the death has been referred to the coroner, you need to make sure their documents have been emailed to us before booking your appointment. To book your appointment, phone 01375 372 822.

On the date and time of your appointment, we will phone you to take information for completing the registration. We will also arrange to send you a death certificate, if you wish to order one. Paperwork for the funeral will be sent direct to your undertaker.

You can find further advice, including bereavement support, at GOV.UK: what to do when someone dies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buying a grave

When you buy a grave, you buy a 'grant of exclusive right of burial', not the land itself.

The right of burial can be bought for 50 years. The owner can decide who will be buried in the grave.

You can apply for the grant of exclusive of burial using the form below. An alternative form is provided for cremated remains graves.

You will need to show the grant if you want another burial in the same grave

Memorials are allowed in line with cemetery regulations.

Go to fees and charges for funeral services.

Grave rights

All grave rights are sold for a fixed period of time, though you can apply for extensions.

You can be buried in the grave as long as:

  • you do not transfer rights to another person during your lifetime
  • the period stated in the grant has not expired

When buying, you will be asked to decide the number of burials in the grave. Funeral directors can help you when buying a grave. If you want to make your own arrangements, contact our cemeteries office.

Public or common grave

A public or common grave is one that:

  • is managed by the council
  • has not been purchased
  • where the right to burial cannot be bought, or can be bought within 75 years of the last burial

The council decides who will be buried in the grave. This might not be members of the same family.

No memorial rights exist on public graves, which means there's no headstone. A small memorial may be placed with permission from the registrar of cemeteries.