Fovant badges: veterans’ charity Alabaré asks the team to restore two of the 10 badges
NINE veterans participated and helped restore two of the 10 famous Fovant badges.
The scheduled monuments and the chalk engravings on the slopes of the war memorials have been revamped thanks to the efforts of the team brought together by the association of veterans Alabaré.
Over three weeks the team painstakingly restored the chalk surface, removing weeds and helping to maintain two badges at the renowned heritage site.
Veteran and Royal Signals Principal Neil Hunt said: “Given a task of this magnitude and such a short time frame, taking into account the weather and the difficult 30 degree gradient, the team has done an outstanding job of maintaining this incredibly important heritage site..
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“The team’s philosophy, enthusiasm and commitment were evident from start to finish.
“As a former Royal Signals Warrant Officer with 23 years of service, I am incredibly proud and humbled to witness the incredible work that has gone into maintaining this part of our history.”
The Royal Signals Badge and the Centenary Poppy Badge have been the focus of the teams’ efforts, with a full maintenance program also planned from Spring 2023.
The veterans were all from the charity Alabaré, which provides housing and services to former members of the armed forces who have become homeless or have had mental health and wellbeing issues.
Alabaré’s dedicated Boots on the Ground group is dedicated to helping veterans improve their mental and physical well-being through participation in outdoor activities. They are particularly interested in supporting military-related heritage projects.
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They worked in conjunction with the Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club and other volunteer veterans.
Fovant badges mark the location of accommodation training camps set up for troops traveling to and from the front line during World War I.
As a sign of their regimental pride and lately in remembrance, several regiments have etched their cap badges into the chalk hills.
Many of these replica badges have not survived, but by the end of the war there were 20 which were clearly discernible, 12 of which were visible from the A30 via Fovant, Compton Chamberlain and Sutton Mandeville.
Leslie Brantingham, Head of Conservation for the Fovant Badges Society, said: “The team at Alabaré have done a fantastic job restoring the faces of these two badges, a great achievement as no one had had previous experience work on these slopes.
“It’s a challenge and Alabaré and the team have taken up this challenge with determination and good humor. The result is evident on Fovant down.”