The Coat of Arms

Stacks Image 686996
From 1883 the school was accustomed to use as coat of arms the version of the Wilson shield used by Edward Wilson (as seen above the main door of the old school building). Very many coats of arms associated with the name Wilson have a wolf salient as the main feature (salient means that the animal is shown leaping up with both hind paws on the ground). Different members of the Wilson family introduced various objects above the wolf, such as a row of three mullets (five-pointed stars). The version of the shield used by the Founder (though probably without any proper authority) was that of a Wilson from Didlington in Norfolk; Edward Wilson distinguished his coat of arms by replacing the three mullets with a silver fleur-de-lys and two bezants (gold coins, originally of Byzantium).

In 1985 the then Chairman of Governors, Lt. Col. W. R. Bowden, obtained a Grant of Arms from the College of Arms. The new officially authorised shield introduces a silver bar between the wolf and the objects above and a gold border around the edge of the shield; a crest is added above the helm in the form of a black wolf holding a silver fleur-de-lys in his paws with a black and gold mantle. The blazon reads as follows:

Arms: Sable a Wolf salient Or and a Barrulet enhanced Argent in Chief a Fleur de Lys also Argent between two Bezants all between a Bordure Gold. And for the Crest upon a Helm with a Wreath Or and Sable a demi Wolf salient Sable holding between its paws an Ogress charged with a Fleur de Lys Argent Mantled Sable doubled Or.

Motto: NON SIBI SED OMNIBUS ('Not for self, but for all': sadly Wilson's cannot claim a monopoly on this maxim as it is used by several other schools and institutions.)

The Badge

Stacks Image 686999
Within a voided Hexagon Sable charged with three Fleurs de Lys Argent and three Bezants a Wolf salient Sable armed and langued Gules. A lapel badge of this design is worn by senior prefects.

Kipling’s ‘If’

Lt. Col. Bowden was a loyal and generous son of the school. As well as paying personally for the grant of arms, he once had his favourite poem printed up on cards to be distributed to all the boys, so convinced was he of the poem’s inspirational value to young men. Sadly, not enough cards were printed for subsequent generations to have a copy, but you can now read it here. (With thanks to Stuart Smith for providing his copy.)

‘If’ was voted the nation’s favourite poem in 1995.

The School Hymn

Our Father, by whose servant
Our house was built of old,
Whose hand hath crowned her children
With blessings manifold,
For thine unfailing mercies
Far-strewn along our way,
With all who passed before us,
We praise thy name today.

Four hundred years unresting
Their silent course have sped,
New comrades ever bringing
In comrades’ steps to tread:
And some are long forgotten,
Long spent their hopes and fears;
Safe rest they in thy keeping,
Who changest not with years.

They reap not where they laboured,
We reap what they have sown;
Our harvest may be garnered
By ages yet unknown.
The days of old have dowered us
With gifts beyond all praise;
Our Father, make us faithful
To serve the coming days.

Before us and beside us
Still holden in thine hand,
A cloud unseen of witness,
Our elder comrades stand;
One family unbroken,
We join with one acclaim,
One heart, one voice uplifting,
To glorify thy name.

Words: G. W. Briggs
Music: 'Wilson's' by H. Murrill

Wilson’s School

A boys’ grammar school in the London Borough of Sutton (UK), Wilson’s School is:

  • committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment
  • a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (registered number 7536970). Registered office: Mollison Drive, Wallington, Surrey SM6 9JW
Translate this page

© 2021 Wilson's School Contact Us