Location: St George’s Parish Church, Beckington, Somerset, BA11 6TG

Survey and photographs courtesy of Alasdair Mackie. Date of survey: 23/09/2016

OLIVER J VINER

Details on cross:

GRU

9089 SGT O. J. VINER. K. R. R. C. 14/7/16

Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU tags

Cross dimensions (millimetres)
Shaft Height: 968
Cross beam width: 397
Width of wood: 70
Thickness or depth: 20

Other information
Mounting to wall: Fixed to wall by wires from nails in the wall to eyes in the back of the cross.
Detailing: Simple wooden cross with rounding at the corners of the cross piece.
Evidence of use in field (earth marking, cracking, staining, shrinkage): Clear evidence of previous insertion in the earth on the shaft.
Surface insertion depth (into ground if apparent): 150mm
Finish (varnish, paint, oiled, unfinished etc): Unfinished
Condition (cracked, paint peeling, woodwork, damage etc): Very good.

Notes and observations:
It looked like earth still attached to the cross – but no clue whether this was from the battlefield or from an earlier insertion in Somerset. Very poignant if the original soil.

Biographical information:
From the CWGC
: Oliver James VINER was 37 when he was killed on the Somme in 1916. He was serving in C Coy. 20th Batallion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and is buried in Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz. Son of James and Emma Viner; husband of Emma 0. Viner, of 74, Addiscombe Court Rd., East Croydon, Surrey. Born at Beckington, Somerset.

From www.longlongtrail.co.uk: 20th (Service) Batallion (British Empire League Pioneers)…. 19 May 1916: came under orders of 3rd Division as Pioneer Battalion.

From 1911 census: Oliver was living at 36 Bramley Hill, South Croydon with his wife Emma and daughter Elaine. He was a gardener (domestic), and the census shows him having been born in Wetbury in Wiltshire (rather than Beckington as in the CWGC). His wife Emma was born in Beckington, however.

viner-cross-1

Joseph Howard Gee

Details on cross:

On upper part of main shaft:

lRIP

On circular quadrants centred on cross:

IN LOVING MEMORY OF

On cross-piece:

139743 SPR GEE. J.H. 86 FLD COMPANY
ROYAL ENGINEERS

On circular quadrants centred on cross:

KILLED IN ACTION

On lower part of main shaft:

7/8/18

 

Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): Painted

Cross dimensions (millimetres please)
Shaft Height: Not available
Cross beam width: Not available
Width of wood: Not available
Thickness or depth: Not available

Circle plate (if celtic type)
Outer diameter: Not available
Width of circle: Not available
Thickness: Not available

Other information
Mounting to wall: Cross-piece supported directly by nails inserted in the wall.
Detailing: The shaft and cross-piece are slightly tapered – thinning to a narrower point where the two pieces meet.
Evidence of use in field (earth marking, cracking, staining, shrinkage): Paint is slightly more worn at the base of the main shaft suggesting some use in field.
Surface insertion depth (into ground if apparent): Unable to measure.
Finish (varnish, paint, oiled, unfinished etc): White paint with black painted text.
Condition (cracked, paint peeling, woodwork, damage etc): Serious damage (piece of wood missing) to main shaft just below where the cross-piece joins it.

Notes and observations:
Initially I thought the name on the cross was CEE – but research on the CWGC site shows it’s a GEE.

Biographical information:
From the CWGC: Joseph Howard Gee was in the 86th Field Coy. Of the Royal Engineers when he was killed on 7/8/17 aged 23. He was the son of Joseph George and Sarah Annie Gee of Beckington, Bath. He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

From the 1911 Census: Joseph was living at home in Beckington with his parents (Joseph and Sarah) and his brothers and sisters. He was a saddler, following his older brother George. George fought but survived the war, and their younger brother, Reginald, was too young to fight.

gee-cross-2