First World War
Wooden Grave marker crosses
The production of wooden grave markers crosses appears to have been
the responsibility of the carpenters of the battalion, who worked under
the direction of the quartermaster. A more standard army-wide
pattern was also used, with a simple wooden cross and metal strips
stamped with the details of the soldier buried.
In the museum's collection there are a few photographs of the wooden
graves, which from the 1920s onwards were replaced by the standard
Portland stone headstone.
Grave of Captain Frank Miller Bingham, of the 1st/5th Battalion, King's
Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Dr. Bingham was a medical doctor in
Lancaster and despite his training and a high demand for doctors in the
Royal Army Medical Corps he served with the King's Own as an infantry
officer. Captain Bingham arrived in France along with the rest of
the battalion on 14th February 1915, he was killed in action on 22nd May
1915 having just returned to the front line from a period of leave in
England. He was buried in Sanctuary Wood, his grave marked with a
wooden cross and the plot fenced off. As the war ravaged the area
the grave was lost and Captain F M Bingham is now recorded on the Ypres
(Menin Gate) Memorial.
Frank Bingham was aged 40 when he died, the son of Dr and Mrs Bingham of
Alfreton, Derbyshire, husband of Ruth Morley Bingham of Highfield House,
There is a memorial to Captain Bingham in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary,
Accession Number: KO0592/02
Grave of Sergeant Herbert Dobson, MM, number 2746 of the 1st/5th
Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Herbert Dobson
enlisted on the 3rd September 1914 as one of the 'Lancaster Pals', and
he arrived on the Western Front on 5th May 1915. He was killed in
action on 9th August 1916 at Trones Wood in the attack on Guillemont.
He is buried in Quarry Cemetery, Montauban, Somme, France. He was
the son of Robert and Sarah Ann Dobson of 31 Dundee Street, Moorlands,
The cross is one of over 200 painted by Corporal Robert Bell, number
241639, of the 1st/5th Battalion.
More on Herbert Dobson
Accession Number: KO0534/01
Grave of 2nd Lieutenant Angus Dickson, 1st/5th Battalion, The King's Own
Royal Lancaster Regiment who was accidentally killed on 14th October
From the History of the 1st/5th Battalion:
"When the Division arrived in Ypres, .... It was decided to have a raid,
and the 1st/5th King's Own were told to get ready for one during their
first tour. 'A' Company was selected.... the objective of the raid
was the 'Mound'.... On 14th October 1916 the General Officer in
Command watched the raid practised, and all was considered ready, but on
the same day a revolver accident caused the death of 2nd
Lieutenant Dickson, one of the raiding party. It was a most
unfortunate loss of a promising officer...."
A letter in the museum's collection from his mother to Lieutenant Booth,
dated 22nd May 1917:
"My Dear Lieutenant Booth,
..... I enclosed a copy of photograph of our lads grave, there is
something I don't quite understand about it. I believe it is not
customary for the authorities to erect anything other than a single
cross where a soldier is buried. If so who put up the wooden
cross? I have not any information and would like to thank those
who have shown this mark of respect..." Letter
Accession Number: KO2115/06
He was the son of James and Margaret Hogg Dickson of 31 Lugsmore Lane,
St. Helens, Lancashire, and was born in Penycare, Ruabon, Denbighshire.
He is buried in Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Accession Number: KO2115/05
The grave of Private Robert Harry Willman, number 3088/241032, of the
2nd/5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. He was
killed in action on 28th March 1917. Private Willman, a native of
Dolphinholme, is recorded as the son of Mrs I Gardner of Brookfield
Terrace, Bay Horse, near Lancaster. His grave is in Erquinghem-Lys
Churchyard Extension Cemetery.
Accession Number: KO2890/01
Part of the cross of 2nd Lieutenant Robert Aubrey Hildyard, 1st
Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, killed in action on 20th
December 1916. The brass plaque states "The remains of the Cross
originally erected over the grave of 2nd Lieutenant R A Hildyard" which
can now be found, along side a memorial window, in St. Leonard's Parish
Church, Hythe, Kent.
2nd Lieutenant Hildyard was the son of Major Harry Robert Hildyard (West
Riding Regiment) and Mrs Edith Vivian Hildyard of the Peak, Hythe Kent.
He had been educated at Leas Court, Folkestone, Malvern College and the
Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He was commissioned on 6th
April 1916 and joined the 1st Battalion in France in July 1916. He
was the battalion signalling officer at the time he was killed, he had
just returned from leave the previous day and was killed along with 2nd
Lieutenant Godfrey James Wilding of London, who were both killed by the
same shell as they sheltered in a dug out in a reserve trench at
Accession Number: KO2413/01
Grave of Lieutenant Arthur Stanley Mack,
1st Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, killed in action 9th
April 1917, with official wooden cross and un-official painted cross
marking the grave. Mindel Trench British Cemetery
Accession Number: KO3057/10
Memorial believed to be in Mindel Trench British Cemetery dated “1917”
“Sacred to the memory of the officers, NCO’s and men of the 1st Bn The
King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, who were killed near this spot 9
Accession Number: KO3057/11
The grave of Captain Albert Ellwood, MC, of the 1st/4th Battalion,
King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Albert Ellwood had
volunteered for service with the 5th Battalion in September 1914, he
went overseas with the 1st/5th Battalion on 14th February 1915 and was
commissioned in August 1916. In 1917 he was transferred to the
1st/4th Battalion and was killed in action with them on 14th August 1918
during the fighting at Givenchy.
He is buried in Vielle Chapelle New Military Cemetery, Lacouture.
The 1st/4th Battalion was part of the 55th West Lancashire Division and
the Divisional Graves Identification
Fund had been established to pay for enamel discs bearing the
divisional badge (the red rose and two leafy stems) and the legend 'They
Win or Die Those Who Wear the Rose of Lancaster."
Accession Number: KO0922/06 & Example of Enamel Plaque, Accession
The grave of Company Sergeant Major Robert Harker, number 7833, of the
1st Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
Robert Harker was a regular soldier who had served with both the 2nd and
1st Battalions of the King's Own prior to the First World War, it would
appear he was with the 1st Battalion between 1908 and 1913, and his
whereabouts is not known in 1914, however he did not arrive in France
with the rest of the battalion, he arrived on 18th December 1914.
Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) Robert Harker was
killed in action on 3rd July 1918 at the age of 34 years. He was
the husband of Harriet Marsay Harker of the Star Inn, Haggersgate,
Whitby. Robert Harker was born at North Shields.
He is buried in Mont Bernanchon British Cemetery, Gonnehem, France.
Accession Number: KO2833/08
Wooden cross on grave of Private William Hodgson,
killed in action on the 24th May 1917 whilst serving with the 2nd/5th
Battalion of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
Accession Number: KO2716/140
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