Shrewsbury – Private Address, Shropshire

...
Read more about this location here

Winchester – Hospital of St Cross, Winchester

...
Read more about this location here

Weston on Trent – St Mary the Virgin Church – Derbyshire

...
Read more about this location here

Southend-on-Sea – Central Museum, Essex.

...
Read more about this location here

Lowgate – St. Marys Church, Hull

...
Read more about this location here

Beaurains – Commonwealth War Graves Commission, France

...
Read more about this location here

Great Haywood – St Stephen’s Church, Staffordshire

...
Read more about this location here

Brookwood – CWGC stand, Surrey (from Beaurains France)

...
Read more about this location here

Chigwell – All Saints Church, Essex

...
Read more about this location here

Hinkley – Hinckley & District Museum, Leicestershire

...
Read more about this location here

Courteenhall – St Peter and St Paul, Northampton

...
Read more about this location here

Clackmannan – Parish Church, Clackmannanshire

...
Read more about this location here

THE PROJECT

Our aims

THE HISTORY

explore...

THE SURVEY

How to help

LOCATIONS

The list

Recent marker reports

Chigwell – All Saints Church, Essex

Lieutenant Claude Handley Trotter Location: All Saints Church, Romford Road, Chigwell Row, Essex IG7 4QD Details on cross: Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): N/A Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): metal disc in centre of cross. Other...

read more

Hinkley – Hinckley & District Museum, Leicestershire

Private William Payne Location: Hinckley & District Museum, Framework Knitters' Cottages, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 1QU. Website   Details on cross : 4 GRU Tags.  Unable to read from photograph (more information to follow) Text type...

read more

Courteenhall – St Peter and St Paul, Northampton

2nd Lieut CBD Wake St Peter and St Paul, Courteenhall, Northampton, NN7 Details on cross: “In memory of” (and) “rest in peace” scribed in black paint on the shaft and on the square attached to the center of the cross beam “Of 2nd Lieut CBD...

read more

Clackmannan – Parish Church, Clackmannanshire

CAPT THE HON R BRUCE Location: Clackmannan Parish Church of Scotland, Clackmannan, Clackmannanshire, FK10 4JG Details on cross:  GRU tags CAPT THE HON R BRUCE 2-A&S HIGHLRS 26 8 14 Hier ruht ein Engl. Hauptmann. Hushland. Regt. Text type (e.g....

read more

Toxteth – St Margaret of Antioch, Merseyside

CPL K.W.Loggie Location: Princes Road, Toxteth, Liverpool, Merseyside, L8 1TG Details on cross: In memory of 106216 CPL K.W.Loggie, Coy RE 'H" Special, died of wounds 23-7-17. Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): Hand painted ornate...

read more

Solihull – St Alphege, West Midlands

CAPT. C. MARTINEAU Location: St Alphege, Solihull, West Midlands, B91 3RB Details on cross: Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): 4 Metal Tags. 3 horizontal detailing the casualty; CAPT. C. MARTINEAU. R. WARWICK. REGT. 5 - 5 - 18 . 1...

read more

Selby – Selby Abbey, Yorkshire

Coy. Q. M. Sgt Harry Dawson Location: Selby Abbey, The Crescent, Selby, York, YO8 4PU Details on cross: In loving memory of Coy: Q. M. Sergt Harry Dawson 1st/6th W. Yorks. Who died of gun-shot wounds 3rd June 1915 in his 48th year. Grave H.81. Text type (e.g....

read more

Brookwood – Saint Saviour’s Church, Surrey

Capt. H R Townsend Green Location: Saint Saviour's Church, Connaught Rd, Brookwood, Woking GU24 0AS Details on Plaque (Cross has rotted away): Queen’s Westminster Rifles Capt. H R Townsend Green 3rd March 1915 Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori Text type (e.g....

read more

On the blog

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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more

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.