Introduction to the project

Welcome to the project pages for our Centenary Badge Project. For the background to the project and how we have selected the design of the badge please click here.

We have now received a fantastic grant of £52,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for this project. It will enable volunteers to take part in archaeological surveys of the military badges that were carved in chalk on Fovant Down by soldiers stationed there during the First World War.

Volunteers and students will also re-enact the building of the first badges back in 1916 as part of a series of activities to accompany the creation of the Centenary Badge on the hillside this summer. The project aims to involve as many young people as possible directly in the badges story to ensure the continued preservation of these famous war memorials.

The project will create opportunities for volunteers of all ages to take part in field walking, geophysical surveys and the excavation of known WW1 features. Photographs of the soldiers stationed at the camp and building some of the surviving WW1 badges will be recreated by volunteers as they help to build the Centenary Badge – a 25m diameter Flanders Poppy with a “1916”, “2016” legend. None of the HLF grant will be used to build the badge. Many of the myths surrounding the construction of the badges will be evaluated by archaeologists and the volunteers during the project and a film record of the planned events will be maintained for future reference.

The Fovant Badges are Scheduled Monuments and National War Memorials but unlike most war memorials that were created by the public, the badges were created by those we seek to remember. We can never be certain about what the badges meant to the soldiers but we think that they would applaud our decision to build a new badge 100 years later. Come and help us build it! Click here to register as a volunteer!

Quotes about the project:

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “The Fovant Badges are a powerful visual reminder of the momentous events of the First World War and a fitting tribute to all those who fought 100 years ago. Building on the successes of their previous National Lottery-funded projects, this grant will help the society tell the Fovant Badges story to many more young people and discover more about how and why they were created.”

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