Re-carved Sutton Badge gets Royal seal of approval

Sutton Badge Completed August 2017 (SMHT)

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 12:19pm 3rd May 2018. (Updated at 5:27am 4th May 2018)

The Duke of Kent is officially opening the newly restored badge near Sutton Mandeville.

The latest badge to be carved into the South Wiltshire chalk hillsides officially gets the Royal seal of approval today (Thursday May 3rd).

His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent is in Sutton Mandeville to unveil a special plaque to mark the creation of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment badge there.

That's been re-carved of the course of the last year to commemorate the regiment which trained at local camps during the First World War, ahead of the Somme offensive in 1916.

The Duke of Kent has been asked to do the honours on site, as he is the Colonel in Chief of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which is the successor of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Sutton Badge
The badge during the restoration process (picture courtesy of Jan Avery)

The work on the updated badge finished last Autumn, after a couple of months of work.

70 years after it was originally created, the badge had become overgrown and needed some care and attention.

The Sutton Mandeville Heritage Trust applied for National Lottery funding towards the plan, securing an £88,000 grant for the restoration.

OPENING CEREMONY:

The Corps of Drums of the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have been on hand to provide music for the opening ceremony.

Volunteers from the Sutton Mandeville Heritage Trust who given up time to make the restoration possible have also been celebrating the end of the work.

The Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, Natural England, Cranborne Chase AONB and Wiltshire Council - who all provided funding or technical support - also got involved.

Wilbert Smith, Member of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West Committee, said:

"I'm delighted to celebrate the successful restoration of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment badge and a project which is continuing to uncover and tell the stories of the soldiers who were based here a century ago.

"None of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of the local community and volunteers or without the money raised by National Lottery players - so thank you and congratulations to you all."

WHAT'S NEXT?

There'll be a chance for us to take a closer look at the badge in all of its new glory, at an Open Day this Sunday (May 6th).

The site, off the A30, will be open between 12.00 midday and 6.00pm for us to find out more about the history of the badge, the military units that were based there and the restoration process.

Another badge on the same hillside, to commemorate the 7th battalion of the London Regiment, known as the Shiny 7th, is yet to be restored.

That's planned to be worked on in the coming months and years.

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