Ditchling, St Margaret’s church – Sussex

UNKNOWN BRITISH SOLDIER Location: St Margaret's church 22 West Street, Ditchling, East Sussex, BN6...
Read more about this marker here

Harpford, St Gregory, Devon

R. F. Miller Location: St Gregory, Harpford, Devon Details on cross: GRU 2/LT. R.F.MILLER DEVONS...
Read more about this marker here

Holy Cross, Colyton, Devon

J C C Barnes Location: Holy Cross, Colyton, Devon Details on cross:     19 APT.J.C.C.BARNES...
Read more about this marker here

Leckhampton, St Peters – Gloucestershire

Alfred Enoch and two unmarked crosses Location: St Peter, Leckhampton, Gloucestershire, GL53 0QJ...
Read more about this marker here

Sturminster Newton – St Mary’s Church, Dorset,

John Morton Mansel-Pleydell Location: St Mary’s Church, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT3 6EG...
Read more about this marker here

Coddington – St Mary’s Church, Cheshire

John Hamon Massie and Hugh Aldersey   Location:St Mary's Church, Coddington, Cheshire, CH3...
Read more about this marker here

Sale, St Anne’s Church, Greater Manchester

Unknown British Soldier Location: St Anne's Church, Trinity Road, Sale, Greater Manchester, M33...
Read more about this marker here

Knutsford – St John the Baptist, Cheshire

George Arthur Bebbington Location: St John the Baptist, Church hill, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6DH...
Read more about this marker here

Bishop Burton, All Saints, Hull, East Yorkshire

Location: All Saints, Bishop Burton, Hull, East Yorkshire HU17 8QB Details on crosses: two crosses...
Read more about this marker here

Eastwick, St Botolphs church, Hertfordshire

Location: St Botolphs church, Eastwick Hall Ln, Eastwick, Herts CM20 2QY Details on cross: On...
Read more about this marker here

White Ladies Aston – St John the Baptist, Worcestershire

Location: Parish Church of St John the Baptist Town/village: White Ladies Aston County:...
Read more about this marker here

Curdworth – St Nicholas and St Peter, Warwickshire

Location: Church of St Nicholas and St Peter ad Vincula, 6 Church Lane, Curdworth, Sutton...
Read more about this marker here

THE PROJECT

Our aims

THE HISTORY

explore...

THE SURVEY

How to help

LOCATIONS

The list

Recent marker reports

Forres (Cluny Hill) Cemetery, Moray, Scotland

W. E. Hamblin A particularly unusual cross, our only returned one made out of Stone. Location: Forres (Cluny Hill) Cemetery, Moray, Scotland. From CWGC: HAMBLIN, W E Rank: Lieutenant Date of Death: 24/05/1916 Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers 5th Field Coy. Grave...

read more

Morley – St Matthew, Derbyshire

HENRY ANGRAVE CECIL TOPHAM Location: St Matthew, Church Lane, Morley, Ilkeston Derbyshire, DE7 6DE Details on Cross: G.R.U. 2-LIEUT H A G TOPHAM 1-WeLSH REGT 25 5 15 From CWGC: TOPHAM, HENRY ANGRAVE CECIL Rank: Second Lieutenant Date of Death: 25/05/1915 Age: 23...

read more

Llanblethian – St John the Baptist, Vale of Glamorgan

Evan Thomas David Location: Church of St John the Baptist, Llanblethian, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan Details on Cross: In memory of 22094 Pte. E. T. David 2nd Welsh Regiment 4th April 1917 From CWGC DAVID, EVAN THOMAS Rank: Private Service No: 22094 Date of Death:...

read more

Shipbourne – St.Giles, Kent

Edward Cazalet Location: St.Giles, Shipbourne, Kent, TN11 9PF Details on cross: Carved/Inked: IN MEMORY OF 2nd LT.E.CAZALET 1st Btn WELSH GUARDS KILLED IN ACTION 10-9-16 Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): No GRU tag Cross dimensions (millimetres please)...

read more

Filleigh – St Paul’s Church, Devon

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

Bitterley – St Mary, Shropshire

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

Tittleshall – St Mary, Norfolk

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

Putney – All Saints church, London

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

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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

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.

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.