Bromham – St Nicholas, Wiltshire

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Rievaulx – St Mary the Virgin Church, North Yorkshire

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Pockley – St John the Baptist Church, North Yorkshire

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Cuddington – St Nicholas Church, Bucks

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Easby – St Hilda’s Church, North Yorkshire

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Killamarsh – St. Giles’ Church, Derbyshire

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Strensall – St. Mary’s, North Yorkshire

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Newark – National Civil War Centre, Notts

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South Wingfield – All Saints Church, Derbyshire

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Leicester – Museum of The Royal Leicestershire Regiment, Leicestershire

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Finmere – St. Michael and All Angels, Oxfordshire

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Leicester – Private Address

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THE PROJECT

THE HISTORY

THE SURVEY

LOCATIONS

Recent marker reports

Beverley – Minster, East Ridings of Yorkshire

OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE 64TH INFANTRY BRIGADE Location address Beverley Minster, Minster Yard North, Beverley HU17 0DP Details on cross (Text content of cross): INRI Carved at top then two plates The top plate reads: TO THE HONOURED MEMORY OF THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF...

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Barnton – Christ Church, Cheshire.

Unknown British Soldier Christ Church, 12 Church Rd, Barnton, Northwich CW8 4JH Details on cross: There are 2 GRU tags on the cross:- (1) 3-B-14  (2) Unknown British Soldier. Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): 2 GRU tags and a brass plaque....

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Clayworth – St Peter’s Church, Nottinghamshire

CAPT. R.J.C. OTTER Location:  St Peter’s Church, Clayworth, Nottinghamshire, DN22 9AB Details on cross: G.R.U. RIP IN MEMORY OF CAPT. R.J.C. OTTER Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved):  1 x GRU tag.  Otherwise hand-painted Cross...

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Shrewsbury – Private Address, Shropshire

Capt.  John Earnescleugh Brydon An exceptional unusual marker, due in part to the very recent construction of a replacement cross which will be returned to the family plot in Darlington Cemetery. Special thanks to Johnny Brydon for this fabulous story....

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Winchester – Hospital of St Cross, Winchester

LIEUT E G C CLOWES  Location: Hospital of St Cross, Winchester, SO23 9SD Details on cross (Text content of cross): G.R.U LIEUT E G C CLOWES 18.2.15 Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU TAGS Other information Mounting to wall:...

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On the blog

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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Guisborough – Two crosses

Guisborough – Two crosses

The story of Two Battlefield Crosses: Lieutenant Colonel Bernard Hedley Charlton and Captain Richard Godolphin Hume Chaloner, Saint Nicholas Church, Guisborough. Dr Martyn Hudson There are two crosses in the parish church of Guisborough, North Yorkshire, and each of...

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Fragments – The grave markers at Courcelette

Fragments – The grave markers at Courcelette

Over the past twenty years of walking the tracks of Courcelette I have picked up a variety of objects that are strewn across the ploughed fields and tracks where trenches were once defended or attacked. Ordinance is most common along with the ubiquitous shrapnel...

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The Meiklejohns of Kinlochmoidart

The Meiklejohns of Kinlochmoidart

In St Finan's Church, Kinlochmoidart is a WW1 wooden grave marker bearing the name of 'Captain Kenneth Forbes Meiklejohn, of the 1st Cameron Highlanders and the date of his death as 26th September 1914. It also bears the initials G.R.U., which stand for the Graves...

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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.