Castleton – Church of St Mary Magdalene, Sherborne, Dorset

Gerard Montague Gordon, Laurence Fisher Rowe, Harold Talbot Vizard. Location: Church of St Mary...
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Melbury Abbas, Church of St Thomas, Dorset

Lionel Carver Location: Church of St Thomas, Melbury Abbas, Dorset, SP7 0DZ Battlefield cross for...
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Unitarian Church, Dean Row, Wilmslow, Cheshire

CLAUDE SWANWICK WORTHINGTON Location: Unitarian Church, Dean Row, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 2BX...
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Llys Ednowain Heritage Centre, Trawsfynydd, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd

Ellis Humphrey Evans - Hedd Wyn Location: Llys Ednowain Heritage Centre, Trawsfynydd, Blaenau...
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Forres (Cluny Hill) Cemetery, Moray, Scotland

W. E. Hamblin A particularly unusual cross, our only returned one made out of Stone. Location:...
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Morley – St Matthew, Derbyshire

HENRY ANGRAVE CECIL TOPHAM Location: St Matthew, Church Lane, Morley, Ilkeston Derbyshire, DE7 6DE...
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Llanblethian – St John the Baptist, Vale of Glamorgan

Evan Thomas David Location: Church of St John the Baptist, Llanblethian, Cowbridge, Vale of...
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Shipbourne – St.Giles, Kent

Edward Cazalet Location: St.Giles, Shipbourne, Kent, TN11 9PF Details on cross: Carved/Inked: IN...
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Filleigh – St Paul’s Church, Devon

GRENVILLE FORTESCUE Location: St Paul's Church, Filleigh, Devon EX32 0RU Details on cross: 2 x GRU...
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Bitterley – St Mary, Shropshire

Philip Vaughan Holberton Location: St Mary, Bitterley Lane, Bitterley, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 3HL...
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Tittleshall – St Mary, Norfolk

Lionel Kenelm Digby Location: St Mary, Tittleshall, Norfolk, postcode unknown. Details on cross:...
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Putney – All Saints church, London

Location: All Saints church, Putney Lower Common, London SW15 1AP Details on Cross: In Memory of...
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THE PROJECT

Our aims

THE HISTORY

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THE SURVEY

How to help

LOCATIONS

The list

Recent marker reports

Melbury Abbas, Church of St Thomas, Dorset

Lionel Carver Location: Church of St Thomas, Melbury Abbas, Dorset, SP7 0DZ Battlefield cross for 2nd Lieutenant L. H. Carver, 1st Bn., Irish Guards, died 26 May 1918. Details on Cross: RIP in Memory of 2nd Lieut L H Carver 1st Bn Irish Guards Killed in Action 26/5/18...

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Unitarian Church, Dean Row, Wilmslow, Cheshire

CLAUDE SWANWICK WORTHINGTON Location: Unitarian Church, Dean Row, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 2BX Details on cross: A plaque on the cross member with the inscription This cross marked the grave of Lieut-Colonel CLAUDE SWANWICK WORTHINGTON DSO Bar TD 6th Manchester Regiment...

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Forres (Cluny Hill) Cemetery, Moray, Scotland

W. E. Hamblin A particularly unusual cross, our only returned one made out of Stone. Location: Forres (Cluny Hill) Cemetery, Moray, Scotland. From CWGC: HAMBLIN, W E Rank: Lieutenant Date of Death: 24/05/1916 Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers 5th Field Coy. Grave...

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Morley – St Matthew, Derbyshire

HENRY ANGRAVE CECIL TOPHAM Location: St Matthew, Church Lane, Morley, Ilkeston Derbyshire, DE7 6DE Details on Cross: G.R.U. 2-LIEUT H A G TOPHAM 1-WeLSH REGT 25 5 15 From CWGC: TOPHAM, HENRY ANGRAVE CECIL Rank: Second Lieutenant Date of Death: 25/05/1915 Age: 23...

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Llanblethian – St John the Baptist, Vale of Glamorgan

Evan Thomas David Location: Church of St John the Baptist, Llanblethian, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan Details on Cross: In memory of 22094 Pte. E. T. David 2nd Welsh Regiment 4th April 1917 From CWGC DAVID, EVAN THOMAS Rank: Private Service No: 22094 Date of Death:...

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Shipbourne – St.Giles, Kent

Edward Cazalet Location: St.Giles, Shipbourne, Kent, TN11 9PF Details on cross: Carved/Inked: IN MEMORY OF 2nd LT.E.CAZALET 1st Btn WELSH GUARDS KILLED IN ACTION 10-9-16 Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): No GRU tag Cross dimensions (millimetres please)...

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On the blog

Charles George Mercer-Nairne Petty-Fitzmaurice

Charles George Mercer-Nairne Petty-Fitzmaurice

Major (Lord) Charles George Francis Mercer Nairne Petty-Fitzmaurice MVO (12 February 1874 – 30 October 1914) Charles George Mercer-Nairne Petty-Fitzmaurice was the younger son of Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquis of Lansdowne, and was educated at Eton...

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Major J. S. Thorpe. M.C.

Major J. S. Thorpe. M.C.

John Thorpe of Coddington Hall went from Eton to Sandhurst to a commission in the Scots Guards. During 11 years of service he fought in the South African or Boer War. There he received for gallantry the Victoria medal with six bars and the King Edward medal with two...

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Project update – Isle of Wight to the Isle of Skye

Project update – Isle of Wight to the Isle of Skye

We've all been busy it would seem. We've had a lot of surveys and reports sent in and also a lot of photos. I should make it clear I guess at this point that we don't mind at all if people don't fill in a complete report, anything that helps is fine, we are led by...

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Geoffrey George Gunnis – Clyne, Lesboeufs and Kent

Geoffrey George Gunnis – Clyne, Lesboeufs and Kent

Captain Geoffrey George Gunnis, MC 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, May 7th, 1896 – October 13th, 1916 Geoffrey was born at 67 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, in London, on May 7th, 1896. He was the first of three sons born to Francis George Gunnis, an East India Co...

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About the project

Wooden Battlefield Crosses and grave markers exist all across Great Britain and indeed across the world. You can find them in churches, memorial halls, chapels, museums and private dwellings. Although various lists exist there is no definitive study of them; the available information is often buried in collections of other memorials. These are deeply personal connections with the people involved in the conflict and form a direct link to the families, loved ones and communities who were left behind.

The aim of this project is to try and provide an online resource which creates a place to find the information about these curious objects, where they exist, how to access them and what they meant a century ago, how they continue to be part of the communities they still exist in and how people continue to engage and respond to them as a link the link to First World War.

Ultimately the intention is to list every single battlefield cross or wooden grave marker returned from the lines in Europe to Great Britain after the war ended. The website will hopefully provide a resource that will give everyone access to information on as many of the locations and as much detail as possible about the stories surrounding the people whose graves they marked in France and their symbolic return to the people they left behind.

We need your help…

You can send us information on your local wooden crosses and battlefield markers, whether it be your own photos, photos you have permission to use from a local archive, details of the building and how the marker has become part of the story of it. We also need your research on the soldiers, their life and service, their families, the incidents surrounding their death and the eventual return of the grave marker to Britain and back to the community where the person came from.

We have provided an easy guide to help you to survey, photograph and research these sites and a rough but growing list of locations which we will hopefully be building on as more information comes to light. We will also be putting together an online guide looking at how and where to research the stories of the men these crosses are named for and how you might be able to look into the story behind them to build an online collection which everyone can use to explore these fascinating memorials.

Contact us

Have you done a survey or do you fancy having a go at one? Maybe you aren’t sure what to do or maybe you have already completed some research on a battlefield cross you’d like to add to the project or share via the website.

Perhaps you think you may have something nobody has seen in nearly a century in your loft or shed? Let us know.

Please send us an email to info@thereturned.co.uk

British Airman’s Graves Plot 9, Poperighe “Remy’ Kerkhof Cemetery 1920 OOC.