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  #1  
Old 21-02-22, 02:21 PM
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Default A rare and precious thing.....

I was checking "my" war graves today for storm damage ( all present and correct thankfully) - however in Abbots Leigh - I managed to pop into the Church itself for the first time ( always been locked before ) - a very typical small English parish church - expect at the back of the Church just propped up in a corner were these two wooden grave markers. The larger one was to L Corporal Stanley Herbert Hall 7th Btn Somerset Light Infantry - Killed 7.6.17 and the smaller more basic one was to J W Gittings 1st Btn Hertfordshire Regiment killed 17.July 1916. These wooden grave markers were erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission in France - when the permanent stone headstones were being erected in the 1920's - families were given an option to purchase the original wooden grave markers - ( very few did ) - those that did were given an uncleaned cross "with the mud of France still on it". I've not seen many of these before and their can't be many that have survived.
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Old 21-02-22, 02:36 PM
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What wonderful and historic items , seeing the original IWGC I.D tags showing the grave number in France (LE TOURET MILITARY CEMETERY, RICHEBOURG-L'AVOUE).

The CWGC site shows that his parents lived in The Priory Gardens, Abbots Leigh, Bristol.

Found a web page about the crosses:

http://thereturned.co.uk/crosses/abbots-leigh/



.
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Last edited by mike_vee; 21-02-22 at 02:42 PM. Reason: Added link
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  #3  
Old 21-02-22, 03:24 PM
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Thanks for the link Mike - very interesting.
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Old 21-02-22, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurkharifles View Post
I was checking "my" war graves today for storm damage ( all present and correct thankfully) - however in Abbots Leigh - I managed to pop into the Church itself for the first time ( always been locked before ) - a very typical small English parish church - expect at the back of the Church just propped up in a corner were these two wooden grave markers. The larger one was to L Corporal Stanley Herbert Hall 7th Btn Somerset Light Infantry - Killed 7.6.17 and the smaller more basic one was to J W Gittings 1st Btn Hertfordshire Regiment killed 17.July 1916. These wooden grave markers were erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission in France - when the permanent stone headstones were being erected in the 1920's - families were given an option to purchase the original wooden grave markers - ( very few did ) - those that did were given an uncleaned cross "with the mud of France still on it". I've not seen many of these before and their can't be many that have survived.
Thank you for sharing these.
Regards,
John
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Old 21-02-22, 03:55 PM
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I think I read an article concerning such crosses some years ago, it concerned a Church somewhere in the UK that had a number of them, I can't remember where though.
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Old 21-02-22, 04:04 PM
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Thank you for this. Very moving.

Terry
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Old 21-02-22, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh kitchen View Post
I think I read an article concerning such crosses some years ago, it concerned a Church somewhere in the UK that had a number of them, I can't remember where though.
Could be Burwash Church Leigh.

http://thereturned.co.uk/crosses/burwash/

Simon
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Old 21-02-22, 07:27 PM
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Yes, that's the one.
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Old 21-02-22, 08:54 PM
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WOW.
Andy
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Old 21-02-22, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh kitchen View Post
I think I read an article concerning such crosses some years ago, it concerned a Church somewhere in the UK that had a number of them, I can't remember where though.

I have seen the small collection of crosses in Salisbury Cathedral.

All revealed on this link: https://www.wiltshire-opc.org.uk/Ite...0Cathedral.pdf

Regards.

Brian
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  #11  
Old 21-02-22, 11:20 PM
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BBC news article from July 2017 covering a survey of WW1 Grave Markers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-40446229

Tim
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Old 22-02-22, 08:43 AM
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A very evocative thread - thank you for sharing.
The variety of markers noted in posts and links is very interesting.
The common denominator is family grief ...
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  #13  
Old 22-02-22, 08:55 AM
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Apparently one of the crosses in Salisbury Cathedral was stolen not long ago.I trust the thief is being haunted.
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Old 22-02-22, 09:32 AM
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There are several wooden grave markers in St Lawrence's Church. Ludlow and possibly one in St Geeoge's Clun. I will go and check later, weather permitting.
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  #15  
Old 23-02-22, 09:12 AM
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This really brings home the tangible loss to millions of relatives. All objects have stories but most have become separated from their story down the ages.

Some years back I bought (or was given) and still have a lead shrapnel ball with an impact mark to one side. With it came a small piece of paper with the following in ink pencil:

"This is the bullet that hit me. The Drs found it under the shoulder blade. Please keep it" Jack

Not a cross, but still a talisman of pain and who knows what suffering....
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