SAPPER G.W. FALLODOWN
Location: St Mary Magdalene Church, Peckleton, Leicestershire, LE9 7QE.
Details on cross:
Cross dimensions (millimetres please)
Shaft Height: 835mm
Cross beam width: 395mm
Width of wood: 65mm
Thickness or depth:20mm
Mounting to wall: held to the wall by two brass screws through the cross in original holes that were used when it was screwed to the stone monument.
Condition (cracked, paint peeling, woodwork, damage etc):
The wooden cross was originally attached to a stone cross monument in the churchyard before being recognised for what it is, being preserved by Leicestershire Records Office and then rehung inside the church. It has a thin stainless steel or possibly aluminium backing to the wood now.
Notes and observations:
The inscription on the stone monument reads:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
SAPPER G.W. FALLODOWN R.E.
KILLED IN ACTION
JUNE 28TH 1918
AGED 23 YEARS
ONLY SON OF H. AND R. FALLODOWN
“TIS BUT A LITTLE WHILE AND WE SHALL MET AGAIN”
It seems likely that the family of this man were intent on having his grave marker on a headstone in the churchyard where he worshipped at the church. “A recent discovery was a wooden cross from a First World War battlefield grave that was affixed to a stone cross in the graveyard and is now inside on the church wall. George Fallowdown lies in a War Graves Commission cemetery in Belgium but his parents had the cross that was used to mark his first burial place brought back to Peckleton and fixed to the stone memorial – a gravestone with no interment.” – https://www.achurchnearyou.com/peckleton-tooley-st-mary-magdalene/
Below is the explanation that is hanging in a frame by the cross, which is itself next to the war memorial plaque.
GEORGE WILLIAM FAULKNER FALLODOWN
George Fallodown was born in West Deeping, Lincolnshire, in 1895. His father Harry was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, around 1865 and his mother Ruth (née Faulkner) in Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, in about 1867. At the time of George’s death they lived at Tooley Park Cottage, Peckleton.
Although we have the Battlefield Cross, his name is not listed on our war memorial, nor at West Deeping, but on the Kettering Memorial instead. At the time of the 1901 census George was the only child of Harry and Ruth. The wooden cross was mounted on a stone cross which can be seen on the north side of the churchyard, but his parents are not buried at Peckleton.
My research is continuing but it is difficult as I cannot find any family members alive and living in the area. Adding to this there has been some confusion as to the spelling of the name of Fallodown.
George is buried in Flanders in the Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul. This wooden cross marked his original grave, and when permanent headstones were in place at the original resting place, next of kin could have the crosses brought to the U.K. if they wished. The crosses were made of oak by a Chinese Labour Corps and this one survived outside for 89 years.
This is a synopsis of the details that were researched and read at the dedication service on 22nd July 2007 by Mrs Margaret Richardson. Details of the manufacture of the cross were researched and read by Mr Greg. Drozdz.
Survey and photographs courtesy of Chris Whitby, Church Warden, Peckleton Via Tricia and Bill Shooter
Date of survey: 7/8/2017