Codford is a small village located to the south of Salisbury Plain in the Wylye Valley in Wiltshire, England at .


The village lies on the A36 road between Salisbury and Warminster. The A36 trunk road previously ran along the whole length of the Codford High Street, but a bypass was built in the 1990s which has removed the through traffic.


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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 principle house of the village in the early 19th century.

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 or perhaps treacherous.

The Codford area has had a long history with Anzac soldiers, 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 the Great War of 1914-1918 who wished to leave a visible memento behind 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 1917.

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

The meticulously maintained war cemetery nearby is the second largest in the UK and contains the graves of 97 Anzac troops, 636 members of the AIF, and 173 members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

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 Anzac Day 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.

Local government

Most local government services are provided by Wiltshire County Council and West Wiltshire District Council, both of whom have their offices in Trowbridge, some fifteen miles to the north. Codford also has its own elected parish council of nine members.

The village is represented in Parliament by the MP for Westbury, Andrew Murrison. Its representative in Wiltshire County Council is Andrew Davis, while the district councillor is Christopher Newbury.

See also

External links

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