Who cut the badges on the hill in Fovant ?

Teachers’ Briefing Notes.

1. Regiments can be identified, and their history followed, through use of the Fovant Badges Society website .

2. The badges were cut in a more or less graffiti sense marking that ‘we were here’. Great scope for a project on graffiti. They appeared in the lead from the church tower roof and later in the Rifle butts, see the Fovant History Interest Group (FHIG) website .

3. The first badge is thought to have been that of the London Rifle Brigade in 1916. Others followed in its wake as each regiment wanted to mark the fact that they too had been there. Lots of information on this subject will be found by following the menu item ‘World Wars’ on the FHIG website.

4. The badges were made, in their spare time, by men with pick and shovel. See London Rifle Brigade LRB plan and the Three Towers (Fovant Community magazine) account of the care of the badges in 1999.

5. Existing military camps could not absorb all the men who volunteered to ‘fight for king and country’ so the War Department had to find ‘open’ areas on which to build new training camps to accommodate this influx of men. With an established large military presence on Salisbury Plain, Fovant, a few miles to the west, with its many fields and open down, set on the major road west (A30), did not remain isolated for long. For maps and photographs of the area see the FHIG website.

6. A vast hutted camp, stretching from Sutton Mandeville in the west to Compton Chamberlayne and beyond in the east, was built to house all ranks, trades, associated military services , military hospital and some facilities shared with local civilians. See the FHIG website.


13th July 2012

Content last updated 

19 November 2012