THE PROJECT

THE HISTORY

THE SURVEY

LOCATIONS

Recent marker reports

High Brooms – St Matthews Church, Kent

CAPT. C.E. MALPASS Location address (including church name, county and postcode): St Matthews Church, High Brooms Road, High Brooms, Kent, England, TN4 9BW TQ 59162 41486 Details on cross:  (Symbol) / CAPT. C.E. MALPASS M. C. / ARTISTS RIFLE / KILLED IN ACTION / OCT 8...

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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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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.