THE PROJECT

THE HISTORY

THE SURVEY

LOCATIONS

Recent marker reports

Ayr Cemetery – Ayrshire

JAMES WILSON CRAIG Location: Ayr Cemetery, Ayr, Ayrshire. Details on Cross: PILOT OFFICER J. W CRAIG ROYAL AIR FORCE (VR) ??-7-42 Standard RAF late version marker. This is a native made cross, James is buried in the cemetery. Service Number 118685 Died 16/07/1942 Aged...

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Edinburgh – Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory, Midlothian

Unknown British Soldier Location - Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory 9 Warriston Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4HJ Details on cross (Text content of cross): GRU 0-L-7  Across the cross piece is a plaque that states ‘Unknown British Soldier’ On the shaft is a plaque that states:...

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North Ferriby – All Saints, East Riding of Yorkshire

Unknown British Soldier Location: All Saints, North Ferriby, Church Road, Hull, HU19 3DA Details on cross (GRU tags): Unknown British Soldier Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU Cross dimensions (millimetres please) Shaft Height: 700mm Cross beam...

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Edinburgh – Dean Cemetery, Midlothian

Location: Dean Cemetery, 63 Dean Path, Edinburgh EH4 3AT 2 Lt D C H MacBrayne Details on cross (Text content of cross): 2 Gru tags -  Lieut DCH Macbayne RFC Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU tags Cross dimensions (millimetres please) N/A Other...

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Cardiff – Cardiff Castle, Wales

Unknown British Soldier Location address: Firing Line - Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier, The Interpretation Centre, Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, CF10 2RB Details on cross (Text content of cross): GRU 47B2 Unknown British Soldier Welsh Regt Text type (e.g....

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Kilsharvan – Kilsharvan Cemetery, Co. Meath

Lieut. Col. J McDonnell Location address :Kilsharvan Cemetery, Kilsharvan, Co. Meath, Ireland Details on cross (Text content of cross): Lieut. Col. J McDonnell 5th Battn. Leinster Regt Attached 1st R. Inniskilling Fus. Killed in action 29.9.1918 Text type (e.g....

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Hesleden – Hesleden Methodist Church, Co. Durham,

Location address : Hesleden Methodist Church, Front Street, Hesleden, Hartlepool, Durham, TS27 4PH These are on permanent display in Hesleden Methodist Church. They were in the DLI collection after the closure of St John's Church, Hesleden. On the 4th October 2017, a...

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On the blog

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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Hardingham – Four Crosses

Hardingham – Four Crosses

There's a sort of axis of travel in everyone's existence, roads that we travel often at various times that become embedded into us a part of our journey through life. Well worn paths that aren't exactly desire lines, they are the things that link us together, part of...

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The John Ross Robertson crosses

The John Ross Robertson crosses

On his fourth operational flight John Ross Robertson found himself in a dogfight with Oberleutnant Adolph Ritter von Tutschek, Robertson is not only out-experienced but his Sopwith Pup is outclassed by von Tutschek’s Albatross D111. After a one-sided fight Robertson...

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Captain Henry Skrine

Captain Henry Skrine

The chill evening air of late September 1915 seeped through the greatcoats of the remaining men of A Company, 6th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry. They had seen a day of terrible fighting that had killed five of their number and wounded many more. Not far from the...

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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.