The cemetery was founded in 1871 and laid out in 1872 to meet the increasing demand from the eastern suburbs of London. The first interment was in August 1872 and the cemetery remains open. The cemetery covers 33 acres (0.13 km2) next to the Greenway and has two Gothic chapels built at the end of the 19th century that remain in use: a burial chapel dedicated to Church of St Michael and All Angels, and a non-denominational chapel for cremations. A total of 244 Commonwealth service casualties from World War I and 132 from World War II are buried in this cemetery, in addition to three Dutch merchant seamen from the latter war.
- Memorial to the 550 victims of the 1878 SS Princess Alice disaster.
- Memorial, marked by a ship's anchor, commemorates those who died when the staging collapsed during the launching of HMS Albion in 1898.
- A further disaster, the Silvertown explosion of 1917, is commemorated in the grave of Andrea Angel, chemist at the Brunner Mond chemical works whose TNT plant exploded damaging up to 70,000 properties in the area, killing 73 people and causing over 400 casualties.
- Stone kerb wall in Soldiers' and Sailors' Plot, listing 97 Commonwealth servicemen buried in it in World War I.
- Screen Wall memorial, close to main drive, listing Commonwealth servicemen of the same World War buried elsewhere in the cemetery, whose graves could not be marked by headstones.
- Collective Grave memorial panel listing service and civilian victims of World War II air raids buried within the grave.
- Screen Wall memorial listing Commonwealth service personnel of the latter war whose graves could not be marked by headstones.
- Michael Barrington
- Christopher Blake
- Beryl Cooke
- Sylvia Coleridge
- Leslie Dwyer
- William Dysart
- Hilda Fenemore
- McDonald Hobley
- Arthur Howard
- Charles Lamb
- Carl Hans Lody - the first person to be shot during World War I in the Tower of London as a spy is buried under his own black headstone. Ten other German spies shot in World War I are buried under a small memorial stone, about 150 yards from Lody's grave, next to a pathway
- Mollie Maureen
- Michael Mellinger
- Billy Milton
- Blair Peach
- Harry Reeve
- Terry Spinks MBE, Olympic Gold Medallist, Boxing, 1956
- Tony Steedman
- Elizabeth Stride, 1843-1888, victim of Jack the Ripper
- Will Thorne
- Jack Warner
- Doris Waters
- Queenie Watts
Cremation of notables
- Lilian Baylis, ashes scattered
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