THE PROJECT

THE HISTORY

THE SURVEY

LOCATIONS

Recent marker reports

Hawkhurst – St. Laurence’s Church, Kent

CAPT A. T. LOYD Location address :St. Laurence's Church, Horns Road, Hawkhurst, Kent, England, TN18 4N, TQ 75606 29454 Details on cross : Propeller cross: IN/ MEMORY/ OF/ CAPT A. T. LOYD/ EAST KENT R. & RFC/ KILLED IN ACTION/ SEPT 28 1917 Text type (e.g. hand-written,...

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Chiddingstone – St Marys Church, Kent

Multiple crosses - Gunnis and Streatfield CAPT. G. GUNNIS Location address: St Marys Church, Eden View, Chiddingstone, Kent, England, TN8 7AH TQ 50089 45189 Details on cross: Tag on top arm - G R U 3 tags on cross center –  CAPT. G. GUNNIS,  M. C.  //  3RD...

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Hammersmith, The Church of The Holy Innocents, London

Location: The Church of The Holy Innocents, Paddenswick Road, Hammersmith, London Frederick John Paice Corporal Royal Engineers H.Q. 2nd Division Signal Company. Service No: 21183 Born 1893 Hammersmith. Registered Fulham 1893. Resided: Hammersmith. Occupation: Clerk...

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Blaston, St Giles church – Leicestershire

Thomas Edward Lees Location: St Giles Church, Blaston Road, Blaston, Market Harborough, LE16 8DE Details on Marker: IN MEMORY OF 610113 GUNNER LEES T.E. LEICESTERSHIRE R.H.A. DIED 21/10/1918 CWGC Gunner LEES, THOMAS EDWARD Service Number 610113 Died 21/10/1918 Aged 21...

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Damerham, St George – Hampshire

William Frank Bailey, Robert George White, Richard Guy Purcell & Harry Mark Tiller Location: Church of St George, Damerham, Hampshire, SP6 3JF   William Frank Bailey, service no. 8133, Wiltshire Regiment, 2nd Bn., died 16/01/1919. Robert George White, service no....

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Covington – All Saints, Cambridgeshire

Carew Barnett Location: Covington all Saints church, Covington, Cambridgeshire. Details on marker: IN MEMORY OF MAJOR C. BARNETT 6TH BATTN DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY -----ED IN ACTION ------st  12th 1915 A non standard cross with a Celtic style circle, shows...

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Ayr Cemetery – Ayrshire

JAMES WILSON CRAIG Location: Ayr Cemetery, Ayr, Ayrshire. Details on Cross: PILOT OFFICER J. W CRAIG ROYAL AIR FORCE (VR) ??-7-42 Standard RAF late version marker. This is a native made cross, James is buried in the cemetery. Service Number 118685 Died 16/07/1942 Aged...

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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...

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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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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.