Recent marker reports
GRENVILLE FORTESCUE Location: St Paul's Church, Filleigh, Devon EX32 0RU Details on cross: 2 x GRU tags on shaft above crossbeam, 3 x GRU tags on crossbeam. Due to position on wall and condition of tags, impossible to read. Plaque underneath gives all the information...read more
Philip Vaughan Holberton Location: St Mary, Bitterley Lane, Bitterley, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 3HL The cross is located next to some pews on the left hand side of the church, just inside the oak screen. It is dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel Philip Vaughan Holberton....read more
Lionel Kenelm Digby Location: St Mary, Tittleshall, Norfolk, postcode unknown. Details on cross: Small metal plate at top of cross stamped ‘GRU’ Below plate at head of cross RIP Across arm of cross 38456 Pte L K Digby 7th Norfolk Regiment Killed in action Below arm of...read more
Location: All Saints church, Putney Lower Common, London SW15 1AP Details on Cross: In Memory of 202160 PTE G DOWN B COY 1ST BN THE BUFFS KILLED IN ACTION 7-7-17 Dimensions: Unavailable Details: None standard cross, upright and crossbeam pointed. Appears to be in very...read more
Thomas Hugh Corbett Woolley Location: St John the Baptist Church, Church Street, South Collingham, Nottinghamshire, NG23 7LN Details on Cross: KILLED IN ACTION CAPT T.H.C. WOOLLEY 2/8 SHERWOOD FORESTERS 27-4-1917 Text type: Painted The cross is a non-standard style...read more
George Brenton Laurie Location: St Mary the Virgin Church, Church Lane, Carlton On Trent, Nottinghamshire NG23 6NN. Details on Cross: GRU XXXXXXXX CROSS (indeciperable text) LIEUT COL G B LAURIE ROYAL IRISH RIFLES Dimensions: Height 1125MM, Width 375MM With Plaque:...read more
Harry Holt Originally two crosses, one had to be destroyed because of woodworm. Location: Holy Rood Church, Ossington, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG23 6LH Details on Cross: R.I.P 28802 PTE H HOLT 7TH SHERWOOD FORESTERS KILLED IN ACTION 22.2.18 Incomplete data. Other...read more
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...read more
On the blog
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
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
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
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...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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
British Airman’s Graves Plot 9, Poperighe “Remy’ Kerkhof Cemetery 1920 OOC.