MORE than 30 Soldiers from Bulford based 5th Battalion The Rifles have this week restored one of the iconic Fovant badges.

The Riflemen from D Company retraced the steps of their military antecedents as they recut the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) emblem, one of the six Fovant Badges cut in to the hillside by servicemen stationed in the area during the First World War.

The project was the brain child of Rifles Corporal Adam Booth who came up with the idea to help when D Company were asked to do a project on the subject of Heritage. Adam had visited the Badges with his family and they had made a lasting impression on him, he said: “We are really pleased with our efforts; we’ve left our mark and hopefully it will stand the test of time, and maybe it will still be here in 100 years. It was the aim of the Fovant Badge Society to have all the badges completed by Armistice Day and with our help it has been achieved. It’s a very proud moment for the Rifles.”

The lost YMCA badge has been barely visible for the last 20 years but has been given a new lease of life by the volunteer soldiers during this the Centenary of the end of the Great War.

Replicating the work from a century ago, the turf was cut to mark out the insignia, the profile was then filled with 22 tonnes of chalk to reveal the charity’s emblem.

President of the Fovant Badges Society, Sir Nick Parker said: “It’s fantastic to have serving soldiers involved in an historical project, so to see a visible connection of today’s soldiers with that terrible but very historical event is important.”

The YMCA provided vital social and moral support to servicemen at home and on the frontline during the First World War, and the organisation was ever present at Fovant Camp with its reading rooms and refreshment areas. The emblem created in 1916 by British and Commonwealth soldiers was a ‘thank you’ for that comfort and support.

Chief Executive Officer YMCA Bath Group, Mike Fairbeard said: “We are deeply touched by the restoration of the YMCA badge by the Riffles. This is a perfect way to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the YMCA next year. Thank you for all your hard work.”

The Fovant Badges are recognised war memorials and are also scheduled ancient monuments. For further information on the badges go to