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Remembered Today:

Wooden Grave Crosses

Stephen Nulty

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Daily Mirror, 30th November 1926

Snap 2020-10-26 at 13.35.34.png

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

Documents in CWGC's archives seem to indicate that uptake of the option for wooden markers to be returned to the families was remarkably low. I've also seen material there where Australian authorities were a bit "vocal" about calling for a return option - and in the event the number of crosses called back there was insignificant. Burning redundant crosses seems to have been normal practice.


It might be relevant to mention that the 1916 New Zealand memorial cross at Factory Corner, Flers, was in a very poor condition post war and after discussions with the NZ authorities it was agreed that that cross should be burned and the ashes scattered around NZ headstones in AIF Cemetery Grass Lane.


The burning itself (by the IWGC) seems not to have been considered to be disrespectful, and it was probably more of a concern that crosses might be "mistreated" by the civil population.


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At Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire the Vicar somehow arranged for a number of crosses of local men to be sent to him, and he advertised that they were available to be collected by the families.  His idea was that they should be placed on existing family graves in the local cemetery.  However, some remained unclaimed, which exasperated him - his own son was a casualty.  Eventually he had the eleven unclaimed crosses mounted in a side chapel of his church St.Katherine's, where they remain.  

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