FOVANT Badges Society is launching a major World War One project after receiving £8,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The grant is for the society’s World War One Education Project.
Society spokesman Richard Bullard said the project aimed to widen the appeal of the military emblems that were cut into the chalk downs near Fovant by soldiers stationed at a training camp in the village.
He said: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident that this project will engage many more people in the Fovant Badges story, thus securing the future wellbeing of these unique monuments for generations to come.”
The grant comes from the HLF’s First World War: then and now programme - part of the government’s programme to mark the centenary of the start of the war.
The Fovant project will produce interactive media describing the village’s Army camp and its impact on Fovant as well as the history of the badges.
Working with the University of Southampton, it will hold a one-day symposium on the subject of War, Landscape and Memory in May at Salisbury and South Wilts Museum.
The society’s website will be updated so that results of the project can be available to everyone.
Troops cut a series of badges into the chalk hillsides as lasting memorials. Five from the First World War survive with the first being cut in 1916.
Others were added after the Second World War by former members of the Home Guard.
Historical records held by villagers and the society are being contributed to the project. They will be digitised and the archive made available to the general public.
Nerys Watts, head of the HLF in the south west, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £36 million in projects to mark this global Centenary.
“With our new small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in the Fovant Badges World War One Centenary Educational Project to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”
The society spends around £30,000 a year maintaining the badges, which are scheduled Ancient Monuments and War Memorials.
It also holds a Drumhead Service close to the badges every July.