Unknown British Soldier
A relocated cross that we thought was lost during renovations work, turned up in a store.
St Nicholas Church,
Details on cross:
UNKNOWN BRITISH SOLDIER
Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU tags
Cross dimensions (millimetres please)
Cross beam width:
Width of wood:
Thickness or depth:
Mounting to wall: See notes below
Evidence of use in field: Not apparent
Surface insertion depth: Not apparent
Finish (varnish, paint, oiled, unfinished etc): Unfinished
Notes and observations:
I had no luck locating this cross despite an initial search of the church, churchyard and local cemetery. At the recent heritage open day, I asked the Rector about it who put me onto one of the members of the congregation. He could remember the cross, but didn’t know where it was now. I then asked if a request for information could go into the church notices to see if any other member of the congregation had any information. After a couple of weeks, I heard that it had been found in a storage shed. A few years ago there was major reconstruction done to the tower of the church, which is where the cross had been hung. For its protection it was taken down and stored safely out of harms way.
It is a standard GRU cross for an unknown British soldier. To me, just as important as a named one as it represents ‘everyman’. The only information currently known is that it was believed to have come from the Toc H organisation, possibly from a branch in Godalming.
It is housed in a wooden frame with a glass front, but is full of dust and cobwebs. The current plan is to remove it from the case, and clean the glass and backing (although not, it is to be hoped, the cross itself) then remount it in time for the November 2018 centenary of the Armistice.
I hope to be able to complete this survey at the time it is re-framed. Unfortunately the sunshine and glass front prevented me taking any good, clear photos.
Photographs and Survey courtesy of Alasdair Mackie
Date of survey: 11/11/16