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"Honi soit qui mal y pense" (Shame on him who thinks evil of it).

Honi soit qui mal y pense” (Shame on him who thinks evil of it).

This memorial wreath takes the form of The Star of The Order of The Garter, with poppies forming the Cross of St. George at its centre. The Star, as well as being the heraldic symbol of Britain’s highest order of chivalry, is the regimental insignia of the Coldstream Guards. The losses of all five Regiments of Foot Guards are commemorated as part of The Guards Memorial, alongside those of the units that made up the The Guards Division, who lost their lives in World War One and “in the Service of their Country since 1918″. The memorial faces Horseguards Parade, the large parade ground in Whitehall, where The Guards troop their colours to mark The Monarch’s official birthday every year.

My maternal grandfather was from Coldstream, the ancestral home of the Coldstream Guards, so I have always had a bias towards the Regiment (and that’s why you’re not looking at a wreath shaped like the cap badge of The Grenadier Guards). I’ve written about the Coldstream Guards memorial in Henderson Park in Coldstream before [Photo Archive: Henderson Park, Coldstream, April 2012] and this insignia has appeared in more unexpected places on my travels [Coldstream Guards Hassock, St. Mary’s Church, Beverley, 14/05/14].