Cecil Francis Henry Littleton

Date of survey: 29/07/2016
Location: St Michael and All Angels Church,
Town/village: Penkridge
County: Staffordshire

Details on Cross:

(Episcopalian) Capt of ‘B’ Coy 5th Cameron Highlanders
Who died May 6
of wounds received
in action at the
Battle of Arras

Here a while
the wearied body
Lies with feet
towards the dawn
Till that last stand
Brightest Easter
Day be born


Text type: Metal tags and painted detail ‘art nouveau’ style script

Cross dimensions
Shaft Height: 1530mm
Beam width: 820mm
Width of wood: widest point 170mm narrowest point 120mm
Thickness: 70mm
Surface insertion depth: Inscription painted but the Cameron’s badge is on a roundel in relief 50mm (see pictures for clarity

Circle plate N/A

Square plate N/A

Mounting to wall: Screw and plate

Detailing: Very ornate. Top features three gold roundels (approx. 70mm) above an escutcheon, which features a cross in a chalice and the inscription ‘Remember before God the soul of.’ Below this, centrally down the vertical shaft is a painting of Jesus Christ with his arms outstretched. On Christ’s vestments at the bottom are two St Andrew’s saltires. Each arm of the cross features cherubs and more roundels (two x 60mm 2 x 50mm). The name and regiment details are split by the figure of Christ. Capital letters are in Gold. Below Christ on a separate roundel is a Cameron’s badge. Below the roundel are the details of Capt Littleton’s death above another cherub (All the cherubs appear to have flames on their heads (Pentecost?)). Below this cherub is written:

Here a while the wearied body Lies with feet towards the dawn Till that last stand Brightest Easter Day be born

(Think this is paraphrased from On Resurrection Morning Sabine Baring-Gould)

Below this are two lilies with the word Alleluia written on a sort of scroll.

Evidence of use in field: No. See photo looks as if this cross was longer – there is approximately 50mm unpainted at the base – as if this has been chopped off a longer shaft.
Finish: Unvarnished. Painted white with gold and blue detail. Roundels on the cross are gold. Cameron’s badge includes blue detail. Lillies have gold stamens. Text is black paint.
Condition: Bad split from top to bottom on vertical shaft. Minor splits on the horizontal. Paintwork is generally good, but shows signs of age related wear.
Other information:
Church is open most days from 10.30 to 12.00 The cross is next to a plaque with more details of Capt Littleton (photo attached) and a brass plaque directly underneath (photo attached).

Biographical Information (from the accompanying plaque and www.ancestry.co.uk)

Cecil Francis Henry Littleton was born on 6th September 1890 in Yoxall, Staffordshire, the 4th son of Rear Admiral Algernon Charles Littleton and his wife, Lady Margaret. In 1911 he was living with his parents in Hanover Square, London. According to the census he was at this time a student. On 1 November 1912 Charles left England for Mombassa. He returned to marry Brenda Hewitt at St George’s Hanover Square on 21 October 1913. The newly married couple are listed as passengers on the ship the Rhenanin, heading for Kilindini, Kenya on 4th November 1913. Charles occupation is listed as ‘Planter.’

On 6th August 1914 Charles joined up. He enlisted in the London Scottish Regiment. At the time of his death he was a Captain in the 5th Batt Queens Own Cameron Highlanders. He died of wounds on 6th May 1917 and was buried in Aubigny Cemetery on 7th May 1917.

Survey and Photographs with thanks to Lindsay Whitehurst.