Castleton – Church of St Mary Magdalene, Sherborne, Dorset

Gerard Montague Gordon, Laurence Fisher Rowe, Harold Talbot Vizard. Location: Church of St Mary...
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Melbury Abbas, Church of St Thomas, Dorset

Lionel Carver Location: Church of St Thomas, Melbury Abbas, Dorset, SP7 0DZ Battlefield cross for...
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Unitarian Church, Dean Row, Wilmslow, Cheshire

CLAUDE SWANWICK WORTHINGTON Location: Unitarian Church, Dean Row, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 2BX...
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Llys Ednowain Heritage Centre, Trawsfynydd, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd

Ellis Humphrey Evans - Hedd Wyn Location: Llys Ednowain Heritage Centre, Trawsfynydd, Blaenau...
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Forres (Cluny Hill) Cemetery, Moray, Scotland

W. E. Hamblin A particularly unusual cross, our only returned one made out of Stone. Location:...
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Morley – St Matthew, Derbyshire

HENRY ANGRAVE CECIL TOPHAM Location: St Matthew, Church Lane, Morley, Ilkeston Derbyshire, DE7 6DE...
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Llanblethian – St John the Baptist, Vale of Glamorgan

Evan Thomas David Location: Church of St John the Baptist, Llanblethian, Cowbridge, Vale of...
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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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THE PROJECT

Our aims

THE HISTORY

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THE SURVEY

How to help

LOCATIONS

The list

Recent marker reports

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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Abbots Leigh – Holy Trinity Church, Bristol

STANLEY HERBERT HALL & J W GITTINGS Location: Holy Trinity Church, Church Road, Abbots Leigh, Bristol, BS8 3QT Cross 1 25927 Lance Corporal Stanley Herbert Hill, 7th Bn., Somerset Light Infantry Details on cross: Inscription (on shaft, beam, and on circle plate):...

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On the blog

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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Sending Johannes Home

Sending Johannes Home

Johannes Schutz, 9. Kompanie Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment 383. was Killed in action on the 9th April 1917. He is buried in the concentration graves at Langemark, in the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge Cemetery in an area that would have been very familiar 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.