THE PROJECT

THE HISTORY

THE SURVEY

LOCATIONS

Recent marker reports

Epsom – Epsom College Chapel, Surrey

2/ LT. T. F. JEFFERY Location address : Epsom College Chapel, Epsom, Surrey KT17 4JQ Details on cross (Text content of cross): 2/ LT. T. F. JEFFERY R.F.A 16.4.18 Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU Cross dimensions (millimetres please) N/A Other...

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East Tuddenham, All Saints Church, Norfolk

Privates George and Stanley Turner Location: All Saints Church, East Tuddenham, Norfolk, NR20 3NB Details on cross: (GRU tags) 61649 Pte S Turner Died of Wounds 5th June 1917 103rd Labour Coy 2962 (Hand painted later) RIP AND PTE G TURNER Died...

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Sancreed – St Creden Church, Cornwall

William Alexander Stanhope-Forbes Location : Sancreed: St Creden, Sancreed, Cornwall, TR20 8QS Details on cross: GRU tag at head of cross In memory of William Alexander Stanhope-Forbes 2nd Lieut 1st Btn DCLI Killed in Action Sept 3rd 1916 Two carved...

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Great Waltham – St Mary & St Lawrence Church, Essex

CAPT. A. N. FALKNER Location:  St Mary & St Lawrence Church Great Waltham Essex CM3 1AR Details on cross:   G.R.U. CAPT. A. N. FALKNER 8 L. N. LANCS. REGT. DIED 20.7.16. Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved):  GRU tags Cross dimensions...

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Westwell – St Mary: Westwell, Kent

WILLIAM HAFFENDEN WINCH Location address St Mary: Westwell The Street, Westwell, Kent, TN254JX Details on cross This is a stone cross with a modern tag reading: 2nd LIEUTENANT WILLIAM HAFFENDEN WINCH 5th BUFFS DIED OF HIS WOUNDS MESOPOTAMIA...

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Bromham – St Nicholas, Wiltshire

P. E. KING Location: Bromham, St Nicholas, Wiltshire SN15 2EU Details on cross: GRU 1-A-? Pte P. E. KING 6/ WILTS REGT 11/6/17 Text type (e.g. hand written, GRU tags, carved):  GRU Tags Cross dimensions (millimetres please) Shaft Height: 790...

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Pockley – St John the Baptist Church, North Yorkshire

Lt. Col. The EARL OF FEVERSHAM. Location address: St John the Baptist Church, Pockley, Helmsley, YORK, YO62 7TQ,North Yorkshire. Details on cross (Text content of cross): IN MEMORY OF Lt. Col. The EARL OF FEVERSHAM. 21st KINGS ROYAL RIFLES. KILLED WHEN LEADING HIS...

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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.