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SOUTH WEST COMPANY of MARINERS


"To be elected a Member a nominee shall have either held a position of responsibility as a seafarer or had an interest in nautical affairs"


THE COMPANY CREST
We are indebted to the late Commodore V R Woolfe for the following history of the Company Crest.
Looking for a suitable emblem which would somehow express our connection with the area and our profession, the idea for the Crest came to me in this way:
1 Alfred the Great became King of Wessex in 871. He was considered the father of our present Navy by virtue of the fact that he impressed Merchant Ships for the purpose.
We had quite a number of RFA personnel in our original membership, and it was not too hard to equate what the RFA is doing today with what those ancient merchant ships did 1100 years previously. 2 The Kingdom of Wessex in those days was alleged to extend roughly from the Eastern part of Cornwall through Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Hampshire past the Isle of Wight.
Our members hail (or reside) within those boundaries. 3 In those far off days, Armorial Crests as such were not known.
Most of the citizens could neither read nor write, their overlords either in many cases, and it became necessary for some identification to distinguish friend from foe.
So was the banner born as a rallying point.
The Welsh chose a Red Dragon whilst the Kingdom of Wessex, possibly with some Celtic affinity, chose a Yellow or Gold Dragon.
Whatever the historical truth or otherwise of this notion, the Badge of Wessex seemed most appropriate to distinguish us,
and since we are connected with the sea, what better than to surmount it with the Merchant Navy Crown?
Long discussions and not a little research went into this project and early Company minutes show of enquiries made to the College of Heralds for drawing a suitable crest, with the costs and conditions of the same.
These proved too costly at the time.
In considering the Company Tie, well obviously the Crest would be on that.
However, there was general opposition to a dark blue background since everyone else connected with the sea seems to use this colour.
It was felt that a shade of green would better symbolize our past and present Deep Sea Activities.
Our Founder Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer were the main instigators of this concept.



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