The badge of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment is perhaps the most striking of all the hillside regimental badges in Wiltshire. It is based on the cap badge of the Royal Warwicks, which comprises an antelope with a coronet around its neck linked to a chain wrapped around the animal’s body, with the words ‘Royal Warwickshire’ on a banner underneath.
The badge on the hillside at Sutton Mandeville was probably cut in 1916 when the 3/7th Royal Warwicks were based here. The neighbouring Shiny 7th badge was cut in late March / early April 1916; its likely that the Royal Warwicks badge was made about the same time. The letters 33RD T.R. Battn were added over the badge at some point, and 13TH B ?T below. We think these were later additions to the cap badge, though still in wartime.
After the First World War the Royal Warwicks badge started to become overgrown. A letter to the Times in September 1929 says:
Owing to the badges of both the Warwicks and the 7th City of London being on Sutton Mandeville Down, some mile or two west of Fovant Down, they have been entirely neglected and overlooked. Most of the stag’s head of the former is still plain, but unless cleared of weeds this autumn all will be lost.
The author of the letter adds:
May I add that in the opinion of many the Warwicks badge with the full name below was considered to be the finest of the whole lot.
Although the Warwicks badge must have received attention at this point, it appears that its fortunes have waxed and waned. At some points the badge must have been well looked-after, but at other times it deteriorated. Over the decades, these episodes resulted in the badge changing shape; details of the badge that appears in photographs in the 1980s are quite different to the badge photographed during the First World War.
When Sutton Mandeville Heritage Trust took up the initiative to restore the Royal Warwicks badge, the decision was taken to reinstate the badge in its original shape from the First World War, rather than the shape it had turned into over the decades. This was more complicated than it might seem and took considerable preparation. Major funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled us to cut the ‘first turf’ for the restoration on 16 June 2017. Work began in earnest on 27 June and was completed on 9 August 2017.
Further information about the Royal Warwickshire Badge can be found in the posts below:
Posts about the Royal Warwickshire Badge