Cavendish – St Mary the Virgin, Suffolk.

Location: St Mary the Virgin, Cavendish, Sudbury CO10 8BA A Grade 1 listed...
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Crondall – All Saints, Hampshire

James Windsor Lewis Location: Crondall, Hampshire Details on cross: SACRED...
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East Stratton – All Saints Church, Hampshire

Frederick Thomas Newman Location: All Saints Church, East Stratton, Hampshire, SO21 3DU Details on...
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Headbourne Worthy – St Swithuns, Hampshire

JAMES CHARLES MARJORIBANKS HUNT Location: St Swithun's church, Headbourne...
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Stoke Charity – Church of St. Mary & St. Michael, Hampshire

Gerald Hinton Bailey Location: Church of St. Mary & St. Michael, Stoke Charity, Hampshire...
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Ditchling, St Margaret’s church – Sussex

UNKNOWN BRITISH SOLDIER Location: St Margaret's church 22 West Street, Ditchling, East Sussex, BN6...
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Harpford, St Gregory, Devon

R. F. Miller Location: St Gregory, Harpford, Devon Details on cross: GRU 2/LT. R.F.MILLER DEVONS...
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Holy Cross, Colyton, Devon

J C C Barnes Location: Holy Cross, Colyton, Devon Details on cross:     19 APT.J.C.C.BARNES...
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Leckhampton, St Peters – Gloucestershire

Alfred Enoch and two unmarked crosses Location: St Peter, Leckhampton, Gloucestershire, GL53 0QJ...
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Sturminster Newton – St Mary’s Church, Dorset,

John Morton Mansel-Pleydell Location: St Mary’s Church, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT3 6EG...
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Coddington – St Mary’s Church, Cheshire

John Hamon Massie and Hugh Aldersey   Location:St Mary's Church, Coddington, Cheshire, CH3...
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Sale, St Anne’s Church, Greater Manchester

Unknown British Soldier Location: St Anne's Church, Trinity Road, Sale, Greater Manchester, M33...
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THE PROJECT

Our aims

THE HISTORY

explore...

THE SURVEY

How to help

LOCATIONS

The list

Recent marker reports

Leckhampton, St Peters – Gloucestershire

Alfred Enoch and two unmarked crosses Location: St Peter, Leckhampton, Gloucestershire, GL53 0QJ (Cemetery of church) Cross 1 Details on cross: Text type (tags, carved) Nothing – no tags Cross dimensions in mm Shaft Height 82 cm Cross beam width 45.5 cm Width of wood...

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Sturminster Newton – St Mary’s Church, Dorset,

John Morton Mansel-Pleydell Location: St Mary’s Church, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT3 6EG Details on cross: GRU 3 5.B.4 2ND LIEUT J.M. MANSEL-PLEYDELL 107TH BDE R.F.A 22ND SEPT 1916 Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU Tags Cross dimensions...

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Coddington – St Mary’s Church, Cheshire

John Hamon Massie and Hugh Aldersey   Location:St Mary's Church, Coddington, Cheshire, CH3 9ED Cross 1: Lieutenant acting Capt Hugh Aldersey Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU tags 2 GRU tags on cross member Lieut/A/Capt H.Aldersey 10.3.18 space...

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Sale, St Anne’s Church, Greater Manchester

Unknown British Soldier Location: St Anne's Church, Trinity Road, Sale, Greater Manchester, M33 3GD The cross is displayed towards the front of the church near the altar on the left hand side as you face the altar. The cross commemorates an unknown British soldier and...

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Knutsford – St John the Baptist, Cheshire

George Arthur Bebbington Location: St John the Baptist, Church hill, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6DH The cross is displayed in the memorial chapel which is located on the right hand side as you face the altar. The cross is sitting on a shelf in the centre. It...

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Bishop Burton, All Saints, Hull, East Yorkshire

Location: All Saints, Bishop Burton, Hull, East Yorkshire HU17 8QB Details on crosses: two crosses but for the same person. First one appears to have been burnt on, the second has metal labelling as in GRU tags. 2nd Lieut R HALL WATT 1st Batt. Grenadier Guards killed...

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Eastwick, St Botolphs church, Hertfordshire

Location: St Botolphs church, Eastwick Hall Ln, Eastwick, Herts CM20 2QY Details on cross: On Circle: DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORT On Cross Beam: LIONEL HENRY SALVIN BOWLBY LIEUT ROYAL SCOTS GREYS KILLED IN ACTON JUNE 4 JUNE 1916 Above appears to be painted on...

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On the blog

Cavell’s original cross

Cavell’s original cross

Edith Cavell was born in Swardeston and was executed in Brussels for helping 200 or more Allied soldiers. Memorials to her at St Mary's church include the East Window and the village War Memorial by the south entrance to the churchyard. The Cavell Room through the...

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Project update

Project update

We are we believe about a quarter of a way through the locations thanks to some sterling work from all of you. What has been especially nice has been the ones that we've been finding that don't appear to have been recorded in any of the semi-official lists, we've...

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Flowerdew; Billingsford, Moreuil and Framlingham.

Flowerdew; Billingsford, Moreuil and Framlingham.

Gordon Muriel Flowerdew was born near Scole in South Norfolk on January 2nd 1885, the son of Arthur and Hannah Flowerdew of Billingford Hall. One of ten sons and four daughters, he, like all his brothers, was sent to Framlingahm College which he attended from 1894 to...

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In memory of Riddles

In memory of Riddles

The Battlefield Cross in Saint Peters Church Redcar is that of 2nd Lieutenant Stewart Gordon Ridley with an additional citation for First Airman J.S. Garside. It was originally placed in the Minia War Memorial Cemetery on the eastern fringes of the Western desert. The...

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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.