THE PROJECT

THE HISTORY

THE SURVEY

LOCATIONS

Recent marker reports

Hammersmith, The Church of The Holy Innocents, London

Location: The Church of The Holy Innocents, Paddenswick Road, Hammersmith, London Frederick John Paice Corporal Royal Engineers H.Q. 2nd Division Signal Company. Service No: 21183 Born 1893 Hammersmith. Registered Fulham 1893. Resided: Hammersmith. Occupation: Clerk...

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Blaston, St Giles church – Leicestershire

Thomas Edward Lees Location: St Giles Church, Blaston Road, Blaston, Market Harborough, LE16 8DE Details on Marker: IN MEMORY OF 610113 GUNNER LEES T.E. LEICESTERSHIRE R.H.A. DIED 21/10/1918 CWGC Gunner LEES, THOMAS EDWARD Service Number 610113 Died 21/10/1918 Aged 21...

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Damerham, St George – Hampshire

William Frank Bailey, Robert George White, Richard Guy Purcell & Harry Mark Tiller Location: Church of St George, Damerham, Hampshire, SP6 3JF   William Frank Bailey, service no. 8133, Wiltshire Regiment, 2nd Bn., died 16/01/1919. Robert George White, service no....

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Covington – All Saints, Cambridgeshire

Carew Barnett Location: Covington all Saints church, Covington, Cambridgeshire. Details on marker: IN MEMORY OF MAJOR C. BARNETT 6TH BATTN DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY -----ED IN ACTION ------st  12th 1915 A non standard cross with a Celtic style circle, shows...

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Ayr Cemetery – Ayrshire

JAMES WILSON CRAIG Location: Ayr Cemetery, Ayr, Ayrshire. Details on Cross: PILOT OFFICER J. W CRAIG ROYAL AIR FORCE (VR) ??-7-42 Standard RAF late version marker. This is a native made cross, James is buried in the cemetery. Service Number 118685 Died 16/07/1942 Aged...

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Edinburgh – Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory, Midlothian

Unknown British Soldier Location - Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory 9 Warriston Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4HJ Details on cross (Text content of cross): GRU 0-L-7  Across the cross piece is a plaque that states ‘Unknown British Soldier’ On the shaft is a plaque that states:...

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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.