Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
j malpas

Goodbye to Fovant badges?

Recommended Posts

Chief_Chum

Hi Old Tom,

It still seems quite a leap to £30k!

Cheers,

Taff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spconnolly007

Bumping this up. Passed them today, and even though I was well aware of the 7th's badge being allowed to 'grass over' it was sad to find no sign of it whatsoever. I remember reading the societies announcement some time ago and considered offering my services but I live 3 hours away on a good day! This is a 'lottery fund' project without a doubt, and it would be criminal to see another one go the way of the 7th. It looks like whats left is safe for the time being, and in case you haven't seen them, they are inspiring in their size and detail and a tribute to the men that made them, even more so to those who never came back to appreciate what they had done there.

post-79848-0-25143100-1346695346_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spconnolly007

For anyone interested:

post-79848-0-47098400-1346697040_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Staffsyeoman

Looking up the Fovant badges a propos of something else - this doesn't solve their continuing problems , but shows actitvity from the past to preserve them. Personally, I'm sad the Royal Warwicks badge is being lost.

http://www.britishpa...gers/query/pubs

Apparently the Pembroke Inn - the pub you can see the badges from - has been closed for over a year, but they say it reopens this spring. Whether the memorabilia remains is not certain. Looks like it has gone gastro/hotel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

The Secretary of the Fovant History Interest Group has asked me to post this: "The Pembroke Arms pub has been closed for about 3 months and the display which was in it till then is in safe-keeping but not on public view. The Emblems Restaurant, from which the Badges could be viewed, has also closed (that’s how small businesses in villages are being hit by the financial climate). We eagerly, but not very hopefully, wait to see if anyone will buy and reopen the pub."

The Emblems Restaurant supported the annual Drumhead Ceremony, held to commemorate the soldiers who trained locally.

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

Following the Fovant Badges Society's reluctant decision to abandon the two badges (7th City of London, Royal Warwickshire) in Sutton Mandeville, local people have taken over their care.

application

I can't find anything else on the Web, but a Fovant lady tells me that the project is underway.

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spconnolly007

This is superb new's, thanks for the update. Please keep us informed of any developements if you see or hear anything before I do.

Regards,

Sean.

Just found this http://www.sutton-down-badges.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
squirrel

Good news indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

Well done, Sean. for finding the link. Your Googling is better than mine!

Interesting that a youth development group was able to work on one badge, whereas professional contractors are employed on the main group at Fovant. Could be something to do with differing terrain and how thorough the restoration was.

The Fovant Badges Society website

explains the challenges faced and how they're overcome, with fresh quarry chalk needing to be imported from some distance.

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spconnolly007

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeKWhmLGaL4 Found this whilst looking around online. Helicopter flight above the main badges.

Regards,

Sean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NigelS

BBC TV local news (South east) today (7th January '14) is covering the news that a grant has been made by the NLF to be put towards an education project to bring the badges to wider public attention in an attempt to improve its income from donations. The grant, at £8,400, is small fry compared with the figures given previously for the badges' annual upkeep but, if the grant achieves the aims that it's been given for, it can only be hoped that it will assist in their long term survival. A local news story on the grant

NigelS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

The Fovant Badges Society has just launched its new

website

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

Very good website

http://www.hillfigures.co.uk/

which includes many military badges, including those that are "lost" in the Fovant area.

Note also the Finsbury Rifles badge at Hurdcott and that of the 172nd Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force outside a camp thought to be at Bramshott near Aldershot, though these are not on hillsides - I suspect quite a few units laid out their badges on level ground. There is also a badge carved in 1913 and associated with HMS Fox, and several aviation badges

There are also a few badges thought to have been carved in South Africa. The one at the bottom of the page is from a postcard I bought early in my collecting/research days as I thought the hillside looked like that at Fovant though I couldn't work out why some men were wearing pith helmets!

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

Extract from a letter from Charles H Moss in the Sunderland Daily Echo, May 17, 1919 p3, suggesting that the first badge was carved in late 1915; hitherto I'd thought that it might have been a London unit's in Spring 1916:

"I would like the people of Durham County to know that the most commanding point of the hill in front of Fovant was used by the advance party of the 18th Battalion Durhams to make the familiar Bugle Badge that could be plainly seen for many miles round the country-side.

It was made in September, 1915, and was the first fighting unit's badge to be put on the downs."


The 18th Battalion was at Fovant between September 22 and December 5, 1915.

Various white marks appear on photographs, mostly reproduced on postcards, taken during the Great War or shortly after, but it is not possible to tell whether these were attempts at further badges or merely marks in the chalk.

In a letter published in The Times of April 20, 1926 (p17) concern was raised about the state of the badges, with a reference to "Leicester's Tiger". The tiger featured prominently in the cap badge of the 2/4th Leicestershire Regiment, which was at Fovant from January to February 1917, perhaps hardly long enough nor the time of year, to carve a badge. But there were two four-legged animal carvings among the badges carved in the Great War.; one cannot be matched to the Leicestershire's Tiger, but another, of simple construction, has been described as a dingo – and might well be a tiger! In September 1928 there were a flurry of articles in The Times (including one accompanied by an editorial leader and a letter in the edition of September 18). Only visible then, it was claimed, were the stag of the Worcestershire Regiment, a Maltese cross, parts of the London Rifle Brigade badge and the map of Australia. The YMCA badge was "better than most". The War Office had said that it sympathised but could not take the initiative in restoring the badges. Other organisations and army units linked to the badges responded more positively and it seems that many of the badges were restored.

Curiously newspaper references in the late 1920s refer to "carved badges" on the "Bulford Downs" being looked after by the military authorities who owned the land. (The Fovant badges were on private land.) To refer to badges in the plural is surely an error; only the Kiwi is known to have been cut in the locality,


Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

"Stop press" on

Fovant Badges Website

"Stop Press! Heritage Lottery Fund Awards Fovant Badges Society £52,700 Grant for Centenary Badge Project."

(And there's quite a bit more that's new on the website.)

I have to say that I have reservations about the costs of maintaining the new badge, given the annual bills for maintaining the originals.

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mooke07

The letter in 1919 from Charles H Moss was from my grandfather Sergeant Charles Herbert Moss, C Company, 18th (Lord Durham Pals) Battalion. He was immensely proud of his Pals Battalion and took my late father and his other brothers and sister to see the Fovant badges many years later. I wouldn't mind a copy of the letter from the Sunderland Echo, shall try and obtain a copy as per the above thread, cheers Dean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

Hi Dean

I came across your grandfather's letter via a search on FindMyPast, courtesy of my local library.

I wonder where the badge was, as it appears not to have been included in what became a cluster of badges on Fovant Down, some of which were little more than graffiti.

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

YMCA badge recut

 

Just seen a Meridian TV news item that confirmed that it was being re-cut, rather than being tidied up. In 2001 the Fovant Badges Society had reluctantly concluded that this was one of the badges that it could no longer afford to maintain.

 

(From time to time I see a WWI-related item on Meridian News, then go on to the Meridian website to see if I can find it. Invariably I can't, though every other news item on the same programme seems to be. Thus it was with this story.)

 

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

Just had the Society's 2019 newsletter - very upbeat. Separate local initiatives are maintaining the badges at Compton Chamberlayne and Sutton Mandeville. The "full set" of badges is complete for the first time this century.

 

A workforce from D Coy 5 Rifles focused on the YMCA badge which had been outside the Society's costed programme and which had almost been reclaimed by nature. The team also worked on the Map of Australia and the "Shiny 7th" badge.

 

Last year's work entailed securing 127 tonnes of chalk, enough for two seasons' use. Re-chalking of the Wiltshire Regiment and Post Office Rifles badges consumed some 52 tonnes.

 

After strimming, the Royal Signals badge and the Centenary Poppy need further work; the former will receive a full makeover next year, but the Poppy "has not got decades of chalk in its profile and will need to be addressed sooner".

 

The Poppy was carved only three years ago ...

 

A sign of the times is that aerial surveys by drones are proving useful for assessing the badges.

 

The Society's finances are sound.

 

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clk

Hi,

 

There's a short newspaper report on the 'opening' of the restored Map of Australia badge here

 

Regards

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seaJane

I saw them last Saturday and almost stopped for a photograph. Wish I had, now! They were looking good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...