Brookwood – Saint Saviour’s Church, Surrey

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Binsted – Holy Cross Church, Hampshire

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Market Overton – St Peter and St Pauls Church, Rutland

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Bisbrooke – St John the Baptist, Rutland

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Sandon – All Saints Church, Staffordshire

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Priors Hardwick – Church of St Mary, Warwickshire

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Thornton – St Michael & All Angels, Buckinghamshire

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Martlesham – Martlesham Heath Aviation Society, Suffolk

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Leatherhead – St Mary & St Nicholas, Surrey

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Armagh – Regimental Museum, Armagh

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Armagh – St Patrick’s Anglican Cathedral, Armagh

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Peckleton – St Mary Magdalen Church, Leicestershire

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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

Brookwood – Saint Saviour’s Church, Surrey

Capt. H R Townsend Green Location: Saint Saviour's Church, Connaught Rd, Brookwood, Woking GU24 0AS Details on Plaque (Cross has rotted away): Queen’s Westminster Rifles Capt. H R Townsend Green 3rd March 1915 Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori Text type (e.g....

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Binsted – Holy Cross Church, Hampshire

Lieut. W. Ogilvy Location address: Holy Cross Church, Binsted, Alton, GU34 4NX Details on cross : G.R.U Lieut. W. Ogilvy 23.3.18 Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU metal Tags Cross dimensions (millimetres)- did not have tape measure so...

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Market Overton – St Peter and St Pauls Church, Rutland

Lieut S Wing Location: St Peter and St Pauls Church, Teigh Road, Market Overton, Rutland, LE15 7PW Details on cross: In memory of  Lieut S Wing 65th How’s Battery RFA Killed in Action 10/8/17 RIP Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): Black paint Other...

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Bisbrooke – St John the Baptist, Rutland

Lieut. Col, Percy Evans-Freke Location: St John the Baptist : Church Lane, Bisbrooke, Rutland, LE15 9EL Details on cross 1: RIP In memory of Lieut. Col, Percy Evans-Freke Leicestershire Yeomanry Killed on active service XIII.V.XV Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU...

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Sandon – All Saints Church, Staffordshire

MAJOR, THE HON.R.N.D.RYDER Location address: North wall of the Chancel in All Saints Church, Church Lane, Sandon, Staffordshire, ST18 0DB Details on cross: IN (on top of shaft) LOVING (LH top brace) MEMORY (RH top brace) OF (on top of shaft)...

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Priors Hardwick – Church of St Mary, Warwickshire

LIEUT-COLONEL ARTHUR. EDMUND THURSBY - BOER WAR Location: Church of St Mary,Priors Hardwick, Warwickshire, CV47 7SN Details on cross: SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF Surrounding IHS christogram LEIUT.-COLONEL. ARTHUR. EDMUND. THURSBY. 5th . ROYAL....

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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.