THE PROJECT

THE HISTORY

THE SURVEY

LOCATIONS

Recent marker reports

Hexham – Private marker

Walter Sterndale Bennett Location: Hexham, Northumberland. (Private Dwelling) "The grave marker is for my Gt Gt Uncle - Commander Walter Sterndale Bennett and I think the wording is clear. It measures 450mm long and 330mm wide and has been with the family for a very...

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St Mark’s Church – Worcester

H.F. Bridges with additional names on plaque Location: St Mark’s Church, Orchard St, Cherry Orchard, Worcester Large wooden cross inside the church on the left hand wall, next to the Roll of Honour.   Inscribed into the wood at the top of cross: PLOT 5 G18 25334 l...

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All Souls – Twickenham

Lawrence Frank Richards & Geoffrey Wilkins Cross 1 for Second Lieutenant S Wilkins GRU tags 1-FA 2nd Northumberland Fus 4th October 1915 2' Liut A. L. Hill 1' Middlesex Killed 25' Sept 1915 The extra row of added GRO tags appear to be a later addition for his...

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St Edmund, King and Martyr – City of London

26th BATTALION ROYAL FUSILIERS BANKERS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918. Location: St Edmund, King and Martyr, Town/village: Lombard Street, City of London, EC3V 9EA Details on cross: RF IN MEMORY OF T. ROBINSON. 1261 SGT. C....

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Glencairn Kirk – Moniaive, Dumfries & Galloway

John Monteith Location: Glencairn Kirk, Kirkland, Moniaive, Dumfries & Galloway DG3 4HD Details on cross:   ON FRONT (HANDPAINTED)   COL. J. C. MONTEITH 2ND BEDFORDSHIRE REGT. KILLED IN ACTION 1ST OCT. 1915 ON REAR (INSCRIBED METAL PLATE) Lt. Col. J. C. MONTEITH...

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Sheffield – St Timothys, South Yorkshire

FRANKLIN GEORGE EKINS Location: St Timothys Church, 138 Slinn Street, Crookes, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S10 1NZ TO THE MEMORY OF LIEUT. F. C. G. EKINS 1ST ROYAL IRISH REGT. DIED, 27.1.19. Wooden cross with carved lettering and metal plate. Post war, may be native....

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Biggin Hill – Bronmley, London (Albert Ball duplicate)

Albert Ball VC Location: Officer's Mess, Biggin Hill, Bromley, London There is a second cross for Albert Ball VC in the Officers Mess in Biggin Hill. This isn't consistent with the photographs of the original at Trent College which leaves us with a bit of a quandary...

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On the blog

The Somersets 1914 – 1917 – a story in 3 markers

The Somersets 1914 – 1917 – a story in 3 markers

The 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, or The Somersets, as they were commonly known, were an Old Contemptible Battalion that were present at most of the significant events on the Western Front but who seem to have left behind few reminders of their time there....

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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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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.