Hundred-year-old badge returns to Coopers School, Upminster
PUBLISHED: 13:30 07 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:16 07 December 2016
A school received an usual letter from an anonymous collector, who found a 100-year-old badge in a flea market.
Staff at Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, St Mary’s Lane, Upminster, were surprised on opening the letter from Letchworth, a garden city in Hertfordshire.
The man who wrote the letter, described by the school as “a gentleman”, explained one of his hobbies is to collect and research old British Army cap badges.
A few months ago, he bought a small batch of badges from a flea market in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, and had trouble to identify one of them.
He decided to run an internet search on the motto “Love as Brethren” inscribed on the badge and found Coopers’ School’s website.
The motto was adopted by the school in the 16th century following the English Reformation.
An expert in cap badges, the collector believes the badge dates back to before the First World War and is most likely to be from the early 1900s or even late 1800s.
In his letter, he told the school: “Being as we are now in the centenary years of the First World War and that the badge once belonged to the school, I think it’s time you had it back.
“It is freely gifted to the school as long as you don’t misplace it again.”
A total of 118 pupils and one master from Coopers School lost their lives during the Great War and they are still remembered by the school.
Headteacher Dr David Parry said: “We are very mindful of former pupils of our school who have fought for their country.
“I was therefore delighted when a gentleman from Letchworth got in touch with me last month, sending me a British Army cap badge from before the First World War which happened to be our school badge.
“He has kindly donated the badge to the school and it is now a valuable part of our archive collection. This is an extensive collection, given our 480-year-old history.”