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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South Collingham – St John the Baptist Church, Nottinghamshire

Thomas Hugh Corbett Woolley Location: St John the Baptist Church, Church Street, South Collingham,...
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Carlton On Trent – St Mary the Virgin, Nottingham

George Brenton Laurie Location: St Mary the Virgin Church, Church Lane, Carlton On Trent,...
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Ossington – Holy Rood Church, Nottinghamshire

Harry Holt Originally two crosses, one had to be destroyed because of woodworm. Location: Holy...
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The Royal Scots Regimental Museum, Edinburgh.

James Fleming Location: The Royal Scots Museum, The Castle, Edinburgh EH1 2YT Weblink Details on...
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Twineham – St. Peter’s Church, West Sussex

Eric Horace Comber-Taylor Incomplete Report Location: St Peter's Church, Twineham Lane, Twineham,...
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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...
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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:...
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THE PROJECT

Our aims

THE HISTORY

explore...

THE SURVEY

How to help

LOCATIONS

The list

Recent marker reports

Abbots Leigh – Holy Trinity Church, Bristol

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

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Cheltenham – St Stephens church, Gloucestershire

SYDNEY VYVYAN TREVENEN & Kenneth Algernon BROOKE-MURRAY Location: St Stephens Church, St Stephens Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 3AB Cross 1 Details on Cross Capt S. V. Trevenen MC, 40th Brigade RFA, 10.6.18. This cross is mounted on the left hand wall of...

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Higher Bebington – Christ Church, Wirral Cheshire.

Unknown British Soldier Location: Christ Church, Kings Road, Higher Bebington, Wirral  CH63 8LX The cross is prominently displayed near the front of the church on the right hand side as you face the altar. The cross commemorates an unknown British soldier. Details on...

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Gresford – All Saints Church, Wrexham

Two brothers - RALPH BONFOY ROOPER & William Victor Trevor ROOPER Location: All Saints Church, The Green, Gresford, Wrexham, North Wales LL12 8RG Cross 1 Details on cross: At the top of the cross there is attached a small cross of the crucifixion. There is a...

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Birtley – St Giles, Northumberland

Bertram Allgood Location: St Giles, Birtley Near Wark, Northumberland, NE48 3HW Details on cross: This is a plain wood cross with a wood plate mounted on the front which carries the inscription:- (curved) Sacred to the Memory of Capt B Allgood 1st Royal Irish Rifles...

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Uckfield – Snatts Road Cemetery Chapel, East Sussex

Three or possibly four markers Location (3 markers believed to be) Bridge Cottage Heritage Centre, High Street, Uckfield, TN22 1AZ Multiple markers at least two crosses and Star of David Plaque recorded in the 1980s. Location: Uckfield - Snatts Road Cemetery Chapel,...

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Melcombe Horsey – St Andrew’s Church, Dorset

Richard Groves Location: St Andrew's Church, Melcombe Horsey (also known as Melcombe Bingham), Dorset DT2 7PZ Details on cross: LIEUT R. GROVES 11TH NOTTS AND DERBYS 24TH OCTOBER 1917 No 2247 Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU tags Cross dimensions...

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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.