The School Badge

The school badge is based on the Coat of Arms of Douglas of Springwood, an estate just across the river Tweed from Kelso. The badge records an incident that occurred during the Scottish Wars of Independence, 1280 – 1320.

The leader of the Scots, King Robert the Bruce, having successfully gained Scottish independence from England, was keen to go on the crusades to the Holy Land. However, ill health prevented this and he died in 1329. He made his close ally, Sir James Douglas, promise to take his heart to the Holy Land after his death.

After he died, Bruce’s heart was wrapped in lead and placed in a silver casket. Douglas, together with some followers, set off to fight in the crusades. They landed at Seville in Spain and joined the fighting there. Douglas was killed in battle at Zebas de Ardales on 25th March 1330. His body and Bruce’s heart were brought back to Scotland and Bruce’s heart was buried at Melrose Abbey.

In recognition of this deed, the Douglas’ were awarded the Coat of Arms with the heart and crown symbolising Bruce’s heart. The motto ‘Doe or Die’ commemorate Bruce’s rallying cry to his troops “let us do or die” before the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and immortalised by Robert Burns in his famous song Scots Wa’ Hae. The badge was adopted by Kelso High School when it was founded.

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