Sharrad's Stone - an appealSharrad Gilbert

Would you like the opportunity to put right an injustice? Here is such a chance.

In Burbage St. Catherine’s Churchyard, in an unmarked grave, rest the mortal remains of one Sharrad Holland Gilbert. At the time of his death, in 1961, he was the oldest resident in Burbage, a widower of some 21 years, he was aged 93 and was blind and deaf. He died at his home De Montfort House, in Britannia Road. Mr Gilbert had fallen onto his fire and died of severe burns. These bare facts, passed over with little comment in the local press belie the importance of Sharrad Gilbert’s contribution to his community and his country.

Sharrad Gilbert had the distinction of serving in elements of the Leicestershire Regiment for 35 years, encompassing both The Boer War (taken prisoner at Aberdeen Town, he escaped on 6th March 1901) and the First World War. He was a writer of distinction – “Rhodesia and After” his book on his exploits in the Imperial Yeomanry during the Boer War is considered a masterpiece of its genre and was republished in 2004. The Hinckley Times and Bosworth Herald eagerly re-produced material sent back from South Africa by Gilbert. He worked for the local hosiery industry all his life as an office clerk and was a leading member of the local Conservative Association, editing the group’s newsletter in the 1890s. His name appears on the Boer War memorial tablet that is currently owned by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and which was on the wall of the old council offices in Station Road, Hinckley for many years.

                 Sharrad Holland Gilbert  __   

Two local men are working with Burbage Heritage group, to raise funds, to have a commemorative headstone erected over the grave of this forgotten hero. Mr Stephen Kellaway, a medal dealer and collector, has had an interest in the background to Sharrad Gilbert’s story for over thirty years. He recently noticed that Sharrad Gilbert’s medals were up for sale in one of the London auction houses. The medals never went to sale as at the eleventh hour the ownership of the medals was disputed by Leicester Regimental Museum. Mr Greg Drozdz, local historian and Vice-Chairman of Hinckley and District Museum, has had a long fascination with the character of Sharrad Gilbert, his late mother having worked with Mr Gilbert at Moore Eady Murcott Goode and having spoken in glowing terms of the small spare man who was an understated personality. Sharrad Gilbert's medals

Sharrad Gilbert's medals

The Hinckley Times and Bosworth Herald ran articles on the Boer War contributed by Sharrad Gilbert

Charles & Stanley Higham - Blue Plaque

Burbage Heritage Group have built up an enviable reputation of celebrating and commemorating the characters of the village through their blue plaque programme. All three are working with local Funeral Directors, G Seller and Co, to complete the process of putting right the injustice of an unmarked grave to a forgotten hero.

The group has plans for a cairn as a headstone, outlining Sharrad Gilbert’s achievements, especially his book on his Boer War experiences. The plan for the headstone emulates the fact that the places of the fallen in South Africa from the Boer War were often commemorated with a cairns of stones.

The group wishes to engage with the wider community and are launching an appeal to raise the £4,500 needed to cover the cost of the headstone and installation.

This is an opportunity for people of the area and beyond  to put right something which is an injustice.

Donations may be made by cheque or bank transfer by following the instructions in the donation form available for download below.

Leaflet and Donation Form

Donation Form only