A Brief History of Codford

 The village was formed from the two parishes of Codford St Mary and Codford St Peter. The two adjacent villages grew together and their union was formalised in 1928 with the approval of the union of the benefice of the two Codfords. Six years later the two parishes became one. Both churches however are still in use today. The village also incorporates the Tything of Ashton Gifford, a settlement that was cleared to make way for the principal house of the village in the early 19th century.

A possible neolithic hillfort or enclosure lies to the north east of the village, Codford Circle.

Anglo-Saxon records show that in the year 906 the area was known as 'Codan Ford' probably meaning 'the ford of Coda' (a man's name). The river which is forded is called the Wylye, which may mean winding, treacherous or tricky stream.

The Codford area has had a long history with Anzac soldiers and during World War I large training and transfer camps were established for the tens of thousands of troops waiting to move to France. Codford also became a depot in 1916 for the men who had been evacuated from the front line and were not fit to return to the front.

Codford's 'Anzac Badge' was the idea of an Australian Brigade Commander during World War I who wished to leave a visible memento of his brigade when it departed. This consists of a gigantic Rising Sun badge (measuring 53 x 45 metres), carved into the grass of 'Misery Hill' (exposing the underlying bright white chalk) in 1916.

The soldiers of 13 Trg Bn AIF who maintained the badge as a form of punishment named the site 'Misery Hill'

The meticulously maintained Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery nearby is the second largest New Zealand War Grave Cemetery in the UK, and contains the graves of 97 Anzac troops, 66 New Zealanders, and 31 Australians, plus 1 Welsh Guardsman from WWII. The effect of two World Wars still resonates in the local community and there is still a sense of welcoming towards Australians and New Zealanders. Codford villagers hold a remembrance ceremony on 25 April [Anzac Day] at 6.30am each year.

The Australian Rising Sun Badge and the War Cemetery are now the only visible reminders of a period when hundreds of troops from Britain, Australia and New Zealand were stationed in and around Codford. 

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