Finmere – St. Michael and All Angels, Oxfordshire

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Leicester – Private Address

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Marston St Lawrence – Northamptonshire

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Pudsey – Pudsey Cemetery, West Yorkshire

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Barmston – All Saints, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Hoo – St. Werburgh Church, Kent

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Hull – St Charles Borromeo Church, East Ridings of Yorkshire

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Beverley – Minster, East Ridings of Yorkshire

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Barnton – Christ Church, Cheshire.

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Clayworth – St Peter’s Church, Nottinghamshire

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Tottington – St. Johns Free Church, Greater Manchester

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Shrewsbury – Private Address, Shropshire

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THE PROJECT

Our aims

THE HISTORY

explore...

THE SURVEY

How to help

LOCATIONS

The list

Recent marker reports

Beaurains – Commonwealth War Graves Commission, France

2LT Marcus Segal Location address Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 5-7 Rue Angèle Richard CS 10109 62217 Beaurains France. Details on cross (Text content of cross): In Memory 2LT Marcus Segal Then more text indecipherable Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags,...

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Great Haywood – St Stephen’s Church, Staffordshire

Harrold Mould Location: St Stephen’s Church, Main Road, Great Haywood, Staffordshire, ST18 0GS Details on cross: G - R - U  (on small tag at top of cross) 1 - A - 6   (on small tag just below tag at top of cross)             986 52  (top LH tag on cross...

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Husthwaite – St Nicholas, North Yorkshire

WILLIAM EASTON Location address:  St Nicholas, Low Street, Husthwaite, North Yorkshire YO61 4QB Details on cross (Text content of cross):  In Memory of 181751 Spr EASTON Railway Operating Division Royal Engineers Died May 11 1918 28 years Text type (e.g. hand-written,...

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Chigwell – All Saints Church, Essex

Lieutenant Claude Handley Trotter Location: All Saints Church, Romford Road, Chigwell Row, Essex IG7 4QD Details on cross: Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): N/A Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): metal disc in centre of cross. Other...

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Hinkley – Hinckley & District Museum, Leicestershire

Private William Payne Location: Hinckley & District Museum, Framework Knitters' Cottages, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 1QU. Website   Details on cross : 4 GRU Tags.  Unable to read from photograph (more information to follow) Text type...

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Courteenhall – St Peter and St Paul, Northampton

2nd Lieut CBD Wake St Peter and St Paul, Courteenhall, Northampton, NN7 Details on cross: “In memory of” (and) “rest in peace” scribed in black paint on the shaft and on the square attached to the center of the cross beam “Of 2nd Lieut CBD...

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Clackmannan – Parish Church, Clackmannanshire

CAPT THE HON R BRUCE Location: Clackmannan Parish Church of Scotland, Clackmannan, Clackmannanshire, FK10 4JG Details on cross:  GRU tags CAPT THE HON R BRUCE 2-A&S HIGHLRS 26 8 14 Hier ruht ein Engl. Hauptmann. Hushland. Regt. Text type (e.g....

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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.