A special badge which spans the generations

Councillors Bill Aron , Brian Burbidge and Fiona Martin with the prizewinners including  Heather McNeill (centre) of Banovallum School
Councillors Bill Aron , Brian Burbidge and Fiona Martin with the prizewinners including Heather McNeill (centre) of Banovallum School

It was fitting that Hornastle War Memorial Centre was the site of a special presentation last Thursday.

A feature of the centre is a memorial to the brave servicemen from the town who lost their lives during World War One.

Next month, a weekend of special events will be held in the town to mark 100 years since the end of that conflict.

A feature of those commemoriations will be a lapel badge designed by 16-year-old Heather McNeill, a student at Banvallum School.

Three thousand badges featuring Heather’s stunning design have been produced.

Some are available now. The majority will be handed out to people who take part and attend the commemorations.

The winning entry was chosen from entries submitted by studfnts from Bsanvallum, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar Schjool and Horncastle Community Primary School.

Together with runner up Morgan Dickeson (QEGS) and third placed Lottie Oldin (Banovallum) Heather was presented with a trophy to mark her acheivement by town Maylor Coun Brian Burbidge.

The presentation really did span the generations as it took padt oin front of the WW1 memorial.

Design runs in Hrather;’s family. Her mum and dad are both professional artists, based in Woodhall Spa.

Heather, thoughm, admits she was ‘surprised and proud’ to be announced as ther winner.

She is currentlyin the final year of her GCSE’s at Banvallum School and hopes to go on to study A-lebel Art and Desing at QEGS.

She explained: “Our art teacher at school camne up to us in a lession nand said = would we like do a desing for a lapel badge for the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

“I did some reaearch and just came up with the design. “

“I was pleased with it but I nnever thpough it would win.

“When It was announced, I was really surprised and obviously I will be produ to see all the peopole waearing it during the weekend.”

The brightly colkoured badge features a 100-logo, based on a poppies whichm, of course, are synonymous with commemorations to mark the two world wars.

Judges, including Horncastle Maylor Coun Brisan Burbidge admnit the standard of entries was ‘faanbtastic.

He said: “It was really difficult chosing a winner but Hrather shoulkd be proud of what she has done.

“Her entry really did stand out from the rest.

“We had quiet a few enttries feature a Lancaster bomber and az Sptifire but they, of course, were padrft of the Second World War.

“We wanted something for the First World War and Heather’s design was fantastic...a deserved winner.

Banvallum headteacher Bgant Edgar attended the presentation alkong with other leading figures from the town including town and district councillor Fiona Martin who is chair of the organising committee for the 2100th anniversary commemorations.

Mr Edgar said he was delighted Heather had won.

He said: “We were more than happy to support the competition and taking paet is part of our efforts to be at the heart of the communbity.”

The final word went to Julian Millington, chairman of the Horncastle Branch of the Royal British Legion.

He said: “It was brilliant so many of the town’s children entrerd.

“Perhaps not all of them are aware of the sacrifices made in WW1 although many of them wilkl have had relatives who fought in it.

“I’m sure Heather’s badge really will help everyone remember.”