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It was a jewelled armlet, a family coat of arms. It had been presented to the warrior de Marneys at Agincourt in 1415 by a grateful king and carried into battle by the family sons ever since.

All the de Marneys were fighting furies who either conquered or died gloriously. Then came the Second World War, and young Desmond de Marney, the last of the line. He was no hero - he wanted to be a farmer instead of a soldier. How would he learn overnight to be a leader of men, to wear with honour the "hero's badge"?

Introduction

Not many of our stories feature the Battle of Agincourt. Therefore, we thought we'd celebrate the 600th anniversary of that major victory in the autumn of 1415 for King Henry V against the French during the Hundred Years' War.

The first handful of pages of this classic from 1965 are almost like a mini-history of British warfare throughout the centuries. Soon we reach World War II and a warrior legacy passed down the ages in the form of an historical artefact - a family coat of arms.

Hero's Badge is stirring stuff, I hope you agree.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Note: Originally published in Commando No 193 (December 1965).

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