Philip Musgrave Neeld Wroughton
An interesting pair of crosses in two locations for the same man, the other cross is at Chaddleworth. Both appear to be Battlefield grave markers. It is perhaps the case that this one was a makeshift original and was replaced by a better more elaborate cross, both have a brass plaque affixed which indicates they were brought back from Gaza, a real curiosity which Alison is still looking into. One of only three examples we have so far (13/12/16) of pairs of markers.
St Mary Church
Details on cross:
Metal plate (Brass) affixed to the shaft near the bottom, with the wording:
CROSS FROM / MAJOR WROUGHTON’S / GRAVE/ GAZE, Palestine
Wording: On the crossbeam
In Memory of
Maj P M N Wroughton
Killed in action at Atawineh 19.4.1917
Text type: Carved and then filled with black paint.
Shaft Height: 1180 mm
Cross beam width: 780 mm
Width of wood: 80mm
Thickness or depth: 40 mm
Wroughton Original grave photo: Burials after 2nd Battle of Gaza incl Major PMN Wroughton. Courtesy Andrew French. WH Sear Collection
Mounting to wall: Free standing against the back wall of the church
Detailing: Black paint detailing on the surface of the cross
Evidence of use in field: Slight evidence of staining to the bottom of the cross.
Surface insertion depth: Not evident
Finish: Slight varnish to the bottom section of the cross, and un-oiled. Faded white paint
Condition: The condition is good, although evidence of wood worm and splitting to the wood.
St Andrew’s Church, Chaddleworth also contains a battlefield cross for Maj PMN Wroughton. Although St Andrew’s, Chaddleworth was the family church of the Wroughton family, the Wroughton family were also the patrons of St Mary’s. A photograph of the St Mary cross in-situ on the battlefield is attached, courtesy of: http://ww2talk.com/index.php?attachments/loose-burials-after-2nd-battle-of-gaza-incl-major-pmn-wroughton-wh-sear-collection-jpg.113943/
The mystery remains, however, since both crosses appear genuine. Perhaps it may be the case that Maj. Wroughton’s body was moved twice, hence 2 crosses?
Date of birth: 1887
Date of death: 19 April 1917, Atawineh, Palestine
Buried in Gaza Cemetery
Philip Musgrave Neeld Wroughton was born in Chaddleworth, Berkshire, to Philip and Evelyn Mary Neeld, daughter of Sir John Neeld, 1st Baronet. His father of Woolley Park House, Chaddleworth, was an English Landowner and Conservative Member of Parliament for Berkshire 1878-1885, and for the Abingdon Division 1885 to 1895. Educated at Eton and then Christ Church, Oxford, Philip inherited Woollery Park Estate on the death of his father in 1910 and was later mobilized on 4 August 1914 as a Major in the Berkshire Yoemanry. He subsequently served in Gallipoli, Egypt, Sinai, Palestine, and the Senussi Campaign, falling at the Second Battle of Gaza which was fought on the 17th – 19th April 1917.
Survey and photos courtesy Alison Wilken