|Heraldry of the World
Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Incorporated into : 1998 Medway
Arms : Argent a Cross Gules in the first quarter an Ancient Harp in the second on Waves of the Sea an Ancient Ship in the third issuing out of Waves of the Sea a Rock thereon a Fort and in the fourth quarter a Sprig of Broom all proper.
Crest : On a Wreath of the Colours in front of a Foul Anchor erect two Swords in saltire point upwards that pointing to the dexter sheathed all proper.
Motto : 'WITH FORT AND FLEET FOR HOME AND ENGLAND'
The arms were officially granted on April 2, 1904, the year after Gillingham's incorporation as a Borough.
The arms are mainly composed of English emblems reflecting the town's motto - With Fort and Fleet for Home and England. Thus we have a castle (fort), a ship (fleet) and the Cross of St. George (England). The meaning of the harp is obscure. The sprig of broom is for the Brompton family. The crest features an anchor for Gillingham's naval connections. The crossed swords record a battle in the area in AD 1014 between Edmund Ironside and King Canute.
The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
The arms on a Wills's cigarette card, 1906
Literature : Image and information provided by Laurence Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org)