Shipbourne – St.Giles, Kent

Edward Cazalet Location: St.Giles, Shipbourne, Kent, TN11 9PF Details on cross: Carved/Inked: IN...
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Filleigh – St Paul’s Church, Devon

GRENVILLE FORTESCUE Location: St Paul's Church, Filleigh, Devon EX32 0RU Details on cross: 2 x GRU...
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Bitterley – St Mary, Shropshire

Philip Vaughan Holberton Location: St Mary, Bitterley Lane, Bitterley, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 3HL...
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Tittleshall – St Mary, Norfolk

Lionel Kenelm Digby Location: St Mary, Tittleshall, Norfolk, postcode unknown. Details on cross:...
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Putney – All Saints church, London

Location: All Saints church, Putney Lower Common, London SW15 1AP Details on Cross: In Memory of...
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South Collingham – St John the Baptist Church, Nottinghamshire

Thomas Hugh Corbett Woolley Location: St John the Baptist Church, Church Street, South Collingham,...
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Carlton On Trent – St Mary the Virgin, Nottingham

George Brenton Laurie Location: St Mary the Virgin Church, Church Lane, Carlton On Trent,...
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Ossington – Holy Rood Church, Nottinghamshire

Harry Holt Originally two crosses, one had to be destroyed because of woodworm. Location: Holy...
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The Royal Scots Regimental Museum, Edinburgh.

James Fleming Location: The Royal Scots Museum, The Castle, Edinburgh EH1 2YT Weblink Details on...
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Twineham – St. Peter’s Church, West Sussex

Eric Horace Comber-Taylor Incomplete Report Location: St Peter's Church, Twineham Lane, Twineham,...
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Ormskirk – St Peter and St Paul, Lancashire

Unknown British Soldier Location: St Peter and St Paul Church Street, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39...
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Cowden – St.Mary Magdalene Church, Kent

William Thomas Ashby Location: St.Mary Magdalene Church, Cowden, Kent, TN8 7JE Details on cross:...
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THE PROJECT

Our aims

THE HISTORY

explore...

THE SURVEY

How to help

LOCATIONS

The list

Recent marker reports

The Royal Scots Regimental Museum, Edinburgh.

James Fleming Location: The Royal Scots Museum, The Castle, Edinburgh EH1 2YT Weblink Details on Cross: Top of upright GRU Tag, text unreadable on photo. 351337 L/CPL. J. FLEMING 11TH R.S. 14-10-18 Text: GRU Tags Displayed cross in a museum environment. No details or...

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Twineham – St. Peter’s Church, West Sussex

Eric Horace Comber-Taylor Incomplete Report Location: St Peter's Church, Twineham Lane, Twineham, West Sussex, RH17 5NR Details on Cross RIP CAPTAIN E H Comber Taylor RAF KILLED IN ACTION 16/6/18   Plaque reads: IN MEMORY OF AN ONLY SON/ CAPTAIN ERIC HORACE...

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Ormskirk – St Peter and St Paul, Lancashire

Unknown British Soldier Location: St Peter and St Paul Church Street, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 3AJ The cross is displayed in the Derby Chapel which became the War Memorial Chapel after the Great War. The cross commemorates an unknown British soldier and is positioned...

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Cowden – St.Mary Magdalene Church, Kent

William Thomas Ashby Location: St.Mary Magdalene Church, Cowden, Kent, TN8 7JE Details on cross: Carved on Cross: SOLD ASHBY 7BRW.KENT.R (On Cross-section) Cross 6.5.17 (On down section of cross) Metal GRU tags with stamped tags: 5238 PTE.W. Ashby. (First tag under...

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Alberbury – St Michael & All Angels, Shropshire

John Burgh Talbot Leighton Location:  St Michael & All Angels, Alberbury, Shropshire SY5 9AH (Off B4393) The cross is displayed in the Loton Chapel (right side transept). It is a four bladed propeller cross set high on the back wall. Details on cross: Major John...

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Tunbridge Wells – St.Barnabas, Kent

James Gabriel Lancaster Ranking Location: St.Barnabas, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN1 2RH Details on cross: CAPTAIN. J.G.L RANKING POLITICAL DEPT JULY 12 1915 Underneath this is a metal plaque which is unreadable. Church goer has said he has transcription of text and I will...

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Suffolk Regiment Museum, Bury St Edmunds

Noel Herbert Tovell Location: Suffolk Regiment Museum, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 3 RN Details on cross: At top of cross – metal plate stamped ‘GRU’ At intersection of cross – 3 metal plates stamped: PTE N H TOVELL 2ND ROYAL FUS 14TH OCT 1918 Text type (e.g....

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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.