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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South Collingham – St John the Baptist Church, Nottinghamshire

Thomas Hugh Corbett Woolley Location: St John the Baptist Church, Church Street, South Collingham,...
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Carlton On Trent – St Mary the Virgin, Nottingham

George Brenton Laurie Location: St Mary the Virgin Church, Church Lane, Carlton On Trent,...
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Ossington – Holy Rood Church, Nottinghamshire

Harry Holt Originally two crosses, one had to be destroyed because of woodworm. Location: Holy...
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The Royal Scots Regimental Museum, Edinburgh.

James Fleming Location: The Royal Scots Museum, The Castle, Edinburgh EH1 2YT Weblink Details on...
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Twineham – St. Peter’s Church, West Sussex

Eric Horace Comber-Taylor Incomplete Report Location: St Peter's Church, Twineham Lane, Twineham,...
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Ormskirk – St Peter and St Paul, Lancashire

Unknown British Soldier Location: St Peter and St Paul Church Street, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39...
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Cowden – St.Mary Magdalene Church, Kent

William Thomas Ashby Location: St.Mary Magdalene Church, Cowden, Kent, TN8 7JE Details on cross:...
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THE PROJECT

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THE HISTORY

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THE SURVEY

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LOCATIONS

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Recent marker reports

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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Filleigh – St Paul’s Church, Devon

GRENVILLE FORTESCUE Location: St Paul's Church, Filleigh, Devon EX32 0RU Details on cross: 2 x GRU tags on shaft above crossbeam, 3 x GRU tags on crossbeam. Due to position on wall and condition of tags, impossible to read. Plaque underneath gives all the information...

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Bitterley – St Mary, Shropshire

Philip Vaughan Holberton Location: St Mary, Bitterley Lane, Bitterley, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 3HL The cross is located next to some pews on the left hand side of the church, just inside the oak screen. It is dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel Philip Vaughan Holberton....

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Tittleshall – St Mary, Norfolk

Lionel Kenelm Digby Location: St Mary, Tittleshall, Norfolk, postcode unknown. Details on cross: Small metal plate at top of cross stamped ‘GRU’ Below plate at head of cross RIP Across arm of cross 38456 Pte L K Digby 7th Norfolk Regiment Killed in action Below arm of...

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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 202160 PTE G DOWN B COY 1ST BN THE BUFFS KILLED IN ACTION 7-7-17 Dimensions: Unavailable Details: None standard cross, upright and crossbeam pointed. Appears to be in very...

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Carlton On Trent – St Mary the Virgin, Nottingham

George Brenton Laurie Location: St Mary the Virgin Church, Church Lane, Carlton On Trent, Nottinghamshire NG23 6NN. Details on Cross: GRU XXXXXXXX CROSS (indeciperable text) LIEUT COL G B LAURIE ROYAL IRISH RIFLES Dimensions: Height 1125MM, Width 375MM With Plaque:...

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Ossington – Holy Rood Church, Nottinghamshire

Harry Holt Originally two crosses, one had to be destroyed because of woodworm. Location: Holy Rood Church, Ossington, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG23 6LH Details on Cross: R.I.P 28802 PTE H HOLT 7TH SHERWOOD FORESTERS KILLED IN ACTION 22.2.18 Incomplete data. Other...

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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.