Brookwood – Saint Saviour’s Church, Surrey

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Binsted – Holy Cross Church, Hampshire

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Market Overton – St Peter and St Pauls Church, Rutland

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Bisbrooke – St John the Baptist, Rutland

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Sandon – All Saints Church, Staffordshire

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Priors Hardwick – Church of St Mary, Warwickshire

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Thornton – St Michael & All Angels, Buckinghamshire

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Martlesham – Martlesham Heath Aviation Society, Suffolk

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Leatherhead – St Mary & St Nicholas, Surrey

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Armagh – Regimental Museum, Armagh

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Armagh – St Patrick’s Anglican Cathedral, Armagh

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Peckleton – St Mary Magdalen Church, Leicestershire

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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

Kishorn – Courthill Chapel, Strathcarron

Lieut A.H.MURRAY - Boer War Location: Courthill Chapel, Kishorn, Strathcarron, Highlands, IV54 8XD Details on cross: IN LOVING MEMORY OF Lieut A.H.MURRAY, GRENADIER GUARDS. DIED OF WOUNDS JUNE 3rd 1900 NOT DEAD BUT SLEEPETH Text type (e.g....

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Bodmin – Cornwall Regimental Museum, Cornwall

2/Lieut W.T. Hichens 1/Bn DCLI Location: Cornwall Regimental Museum, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 1EG Museum Website Details on cross: Believed to be 2/Lieut W.T. Hichens 1/Bn D.C.L.I. 3 September 1916 Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU tags...

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Ruan Minor – St Rumon’s Church, Cornwall

Capt. B.H. Vyvyan Location: St Rumon’s Church, Ruan Minor, Cornwall, TR12 7JL Details on cross: Capt. B.H. Vyvyan A/121 Bde RFA, DOW 18.8.1917 Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): Painted black lettering (possibly not original)...

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Canmore – Forres Cemetery, Moray

Lieut. W.E.Hamblin - Very unusual stone cross Location: Forres Cemetery, Cluny Hill, Canmore, Moray Details on cross: The wording at the base of the original cross is ‘KILLED IN ACTION MAY 24th 1916’ Inscription on the 1925 base  ‘ERECTED BY HIS BROTHER OFFICER [sic]...

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Black Watch Museum – Perth

William Debnam McLaren Stewart Location: The Black Watch Museum, Balhousie Castle Perth, Perthshire PH1 5HR   Details on cross: At the top of the cross shaft, indistinct may be the mark of a GRU plate On the shaft within a painted scroll: IN MEMORY OF On the...

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Sutton Bonnington – St Marys Church, Nottinghamshire

Capt. G. L. Paget - Boer War Location: St Mary's Church, Sutton Bonnington, Nottinghamshire Details on cross: In Memory Of Capt. G. L. Paget Who Was Killed In Action Near this spot Oct 9th.. 1900 Facsimile of a Cross Erected by his Men At Vlakfontein 1st Battn Rifle...

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Stewkley – St Michael and All Angels, Buckinghamshire

Lieutenant Claude Cressy Horsley Location: St Michael and All Angels Church, High Street North, Stewkley, Buckinghamshire, LU7 0HN. Details on cross:  3 GRU alloy tags: GRU Lieut CC Horsley 4th North Stafford Regt 29th November 1917 No.2448 Cross dimensions: Shaft...

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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.