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Bethany School, Goudhurst pupils Daniel Reilly and Thomas Eckley dig up First World War cap badge in school grounds

By Luke May

A military badge worn during the First World War has been dug up by two Goudhurst schoolboys.

Year 8 pupils Daniel Reilly and Thomas Eckley, both 12, were collecting soil samples as part of Bethany School's Acorns Gardening Club, when they made the discovery.

Daniel said: "I saw something glistening in the ground. I managed to scrape away the soil to find what we thought was a medal at first, but after further research we discovered that it was an army cap badge."

Thomas Eckley (left) and Daniel Reilly (right) found a First World War cap badge in the school grounds. Picture: Sean Aidan (6927205)
Thomas Eckley (left) and Daniel Reilly (right) found a First World War cap badge in the school grounds. Picture: Sean Aidan (6927205)

As the name might suggest, cap badges were worn on headgear to show a soldier's nationality or which organisation they belonged to.

The badge found by Thomas and Daniel bares the symbol of the Queen Mary's Regiment Surrey Yeomanry, which originally formed at the end of the 18th century.

This particular badge has been traced back to the First World War.

Mystery surrounds how the cap badge ended up in Bethany School's grounds. Picture: Sean Aidan (6927208)
Mystery surrounds how the cap badge ended up in Bethany School's grounds. Picture: Sean Aidan (6927208)

It is inscribed with the insignia Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense, which appears on several British military cap badges, as well as the on the figurehead of HMS Victory.

The phrase translates to Shame on him who thinks ill of it.

Thomas Eckley and Daniel Reilly inspect the badge. Picture: Sean Aidan (6927211)
Thomas Eckley and Daniel Reilly inspect the badge. Picture: Sean Aidan (6927211)

Daniella Gray, communications officer and librarian at the independent boarding school, said: "Pupils and staff are curious as to how the badge came to be on our school grounds, who might have dropped it and what they were doing here.

"Unfortunately, we will never know."

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