Sunday 26th May 2024 saw the presentation of a Queen’s Badge to Benedict (Benny) Crossen, a member of the 1st Newton Aycliffe company of the Boys’ Brigade at Neville Parade Methodist Church during the normal, communion service led by the Rev. David Payne. The Badge was presented to Benedict by Councillor Carl Robinson, the past Mayor of the Great Aycliffe Town Council, with an address by Geoff Knapton, the President of Great Aycliffe Rotary, whose organisation supported the company and, which, they in turn, reciprocated. Other members of the company and their officer, Lieutenant Alistair Elliott, were present to witness the proceedings too.
This event is significant for several reasons:
Benedict is the second born of twins to Gerard and Sharon Crossen, they are now 21 years of age. He and his twin brother both achieved their Queen’s Badge at the same time and, while his twin, Bailey, was presented his award on 8th October 2023 by Cllr. Carl Robinson, while he was still Mayor, Benny was away at Preston University studying Computer Science so, recently, Cllr Robinson completed the job.
Benedict and Bailey are the youngest two of a family of four boys, the older pair (not twins) are Gerard and Finlay who, in their younger days, also achieved the Queen’s Badge, so the whole family are Queensmen. This may well be a record.
The Queen’s Award is the highest achievement in the church-based Boys’ Brigade and has been in existence since 1952, predating the Duke of Edinburgh Award which can be worked for in the BB as can the BB President’s Badge, the award before the Queen’s Badge. After this, it will be a King’s Badge as it was before the late Queen ascended to the Throne.
Since the change of Monarch, it may be that this has been one of the last presentations of a Queen’s Badge for a long time.

Photo: Family with Cllr. Robinson (L to R) Gerard Jnr; Gerrard (Father); Benedict; Bailey; Sharon (Mother) and Finlay.