Pockley – St John the Baptist Church, North Yorkshire

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Cuddington – St Nicholas Church, Bucks

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Easby – St Hilda’s Church, North Yorkshire

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Killamarsh – St. Giles’ Church, Derbyshire

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Strensall – St. Mary’s, North Yorkshire

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Newark – National Civil War Centre, Notts

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South Wingfield – All Saints Church, Derbyshire

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Leicester – Museum of The Royal Leicestershire Regiment, Leicestershire

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Finmere – St. Michael and All Angels, Oxfordshire

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Leicester – Private Address

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Marston St Lawrence – Northamptonshire

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Pudsey – Pudsey Cemetery, West Yorkshire

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THE PROJECT

THE HISTORY

THE SURVEY

LOCATIONS

Recent marker reports

Pockley – St John the Baptist Church, North Yorkshire

Lt. Col. The EARL OF FEVERSHAM. Location address: St John the Baptist Church, Pockley, Helmsley, YORK, YO62 7TQ,North Yorkshire. Details on cross (Text content of cross): IN MEMORY OF Lt. Col. The EARL OF FEVERSHAM. 21st KINGS ROYAL RIFLES. KILLED WHEN LEADING HIS...

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Cuddington – St Nicholas Church, Bucks

Unknown British Soldier Location address: St Nicholas Church, Cuddington, Bucks HP18 0AP Details on cross (Text content of cross): Three metal tags. 1. GRU 2. 58 E 47 3. Unknown British Soldier Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved):...

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Easby – St Hilda’s Church, North Yorkshire

Robert Percy Pulleine Location:  Parish Church of St Hilda, Easby, Near Richmond, North Yorkshire  DL10 7EU Details on cross : GRU On cross beam -  2 LT.  R. P. PULLEINE R.F.A. 4-9-16 Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): Pressed metal plaques, named to...

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Killamarsh – St. Giles’ Church, Derbyshire

Athal Frederick Swindell Location address: St. Giles' Church, Church Lane, Killamarsh, Derbyshire S21 1JY Details on cross: Regimental badge (at top of shaft) ORIGINAL CROSS (below badge characters embossed on alloy tape nailed to wood) R.I.P. (on shaft just above...

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Strensall – St. Mary’s, North Yorkshire

GEOFFREY FAIRBANK Location address:  St. Mary's, Church Lane, Strensall, North Yorkshire YO32 5XU Details on cross (Text content of cross): I.W.G.C. 2 PS/8274  L/C G FAIRBANK 20/ ROYAL FUSRS 16.4.17   Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): Tags Cross...

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Newark – National Civil War Centre, Notts

Walter Henry Guy Location address:  National Civil War Centre, 14 Appletongate, Newark, Notts, NG24 1JY. Details on cross Brass mounting, rectangular in shape going to a point on top side(making it 5 sided) with a circular hole for mounting purposes. Reads 1st...

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South Wingfield – All Saints Church, Derbyshire

UNKNOWN BRITISH SOLDIER Location address: Inside All Saints Church, Holme Lane, South Wingfield, Derbyshire, DE55 7NY Details on cross: G R U  (at top of shaft) UNKNOWN BRITISH SOLDIER  (on cross beam) Text type: characters embossed on alloy tape nailed to wood (GRU...

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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.