The History of the Battlefield Cross

The History of the Battlefield Cross

Learn the history and significance of the Battlefield Cross.

The first appearance of the “battlefield cross” is not a known fact. Some believe it may have been during the Civil War where it may have been used to signify the location of a dead soldier to be collected and buried during which time they would call a temporary truce.

During earlier wars, the configuration for the battlefield cross was a downward pointing rifle with a helmet perched on the stock. This image became more prevalent during World War I and II. It continued as a marker for the dead for the Graves Registration Personnel to remove the body for burial. It also started to become more of a memorial and a chance for their comrades to mourn and say goodbye.

Posted on 8/14/2000
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