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News > Alumni Memories > Old Suttonians' Badge

Old Suttonians' Badge

This article explores the history behind our Old Suttonians' Badge and the meaning of each section.
23 Mar 2023
Alumni Memories

The Keys

When the Sutton Borough Arms were being designed in 1934 nothing of note was discovered in the topography, history or activities of Sutton, so recourse was made to the Lords of the Manor. In the arms of Chertsey Abbey, Lords of the Manor from pre-conquest times (c727) until 1538 were a blue key and red key, the only part which alluded to Sutton. The keys were chosen to be a part of the Old Suttonians' Badge to form a visual link between it and the Borough Arms. The badge was introduced in 1954.

This allusion to the Lord of the Manor is appropriate because the site of the Old Manor House is just north-west of the present school building in Manor Lane.


The Stripes and the Owl

The upper part of the design reproduces the extant insignia of the Association, the School Owl between two Old Suttonian stripes. The background colours of yellow and blue represent Surrey which indicates the administrative link between County and Surrey County School, as it was then called.

Yellow and blue were the livery colours of the de Warrenness, Earl of Surrey.


The Cross and the Rose

The yellow 'cross paty fitched at the foot' is from the arms of Hertford College, Oxford, who have been Lords of the Manor throughout the life of the School. It was customary to include in arms a reference to a person of outstanding importance involved with the institution, such as founder or early benefactor of exceptional munificence. No such unique individual met this requirement and it is believed the red rose was linked perhaps to one or more of the following:

My Hensley, the first Headmaster and President of the Association came from the headmastership of St Saviour's School whose emblem was a red rose;

Mr Birks, found of the Association, was Derbyshire man and a red rose was the central feature of the arms of that county;

and Mr Cockshutt, the second Headmaster, was educated at the Victorian University of Manchester whose arms included the red rose of Lancashire.


The Motto - 'Keep Faith'

The motto, which is also the School's, and its use by the Association emphasises the intimate connections between the two bodies and allows it to remain as a positive injunction to be taken to heart by all those who pass through the School and those who graduate to the Old Suttonians' Association.


The Badge is Blazoned:

Per pale of and azure, on a chief sable a Suttonian owl between two Old Suttonian pales, in dexter, as many keys erect, wards upwards and turned outward, handles interlace, the dexter of the second, the sinister gules, in Sinister, a cross paty fitched at the oot of the first above a plate; thereon a rose of the last, barbded proper.

Motto: Keep Faith

I am indebted to D.F. Purcell (1943-52) for the source of this material.




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