July marks the 60th Anniversary of Wiltshire ACF's adoption of the Bustard Badge as our County Badge.
Prior to this, from 1944, a badge was worn depicting one of the archways of Stonehenge superimposed with the twin Hay Rakes and Moon of the 'Moonrakers Legend'. This badge was selected through a competition open to all cadets and refers to the fact that all people born in Wiltshire are known as 'Moonrakers'.
If you do not know why you are a Moonraker you can read the story below
There are several versions of the story but they all have the common theme of smugglers pretending to rake in the moon from a pond, somewhere in Wiltshire. Although occasionally the story is sometimes outside of Wiltshire but generally Wiltshire is the most common county used.
During the 1700s, high taxes on alcohol and other goods, caused widespread smuggling across the country to avoid paying the tax.
One night, some locals retrieving Barrels of brandy from the Crammer in Devizes with large hay rakes where they had hidden them, were surprised when they were spotted by the local exciseman.
In an attempt to hide their loot, the men pointed to the reflection of the moon on the pond and said they were trying to rake in the “giant cheese” they’d found. Thinking the men to be simple yokels the exciseman left the scene laughing at the locals who were then left free to collect the barrels of brandy.
While the story may be apocryphal, the term "Moonraker" has stuck, and is now used to refer to people from Wiltshire.