Sharrad Gilbert

Sharrad Gilbert was born 10 November 1868 in a small room over his father's chemist shop in Earl Shilton, Leicestershire. at the age of 13 he left school and joined the firm of Crows Trinhlor for a seven year apprentishship as a hosier.Sharrad Gilbert

During 1886 he joined the 1st Volunteer Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. At the outbreak of Boer War in 1898 Sharrad applied to serve with his Service Company, The Leicestershire Regiment. Despite his 15 years' service in the Volunteers his application was refused. Being a very determined man he approached and was accepted into an unknown branch of the service and was enrolled in the ranks of the Imperial Yeomanry 65th Squadron, 17th Battalion Leicestershire and served in South Africa for a period of fifteen months during which time he saw much action and was in fact captured by the Boers at Aberdeen in Rhodesia. However, he and several other prisoners overpowered their Guard and made daring escape.

In 1901 the Imperial Yeomanry were recalled to England and Sharrad Gilbert's service was terminated. Immediately on his return to Hinckley he re-joined the Volunteer Battalion and remained in the 1st Battalion Volunteers until 1908 when the Volunteers were disbanded and the new Territorial  Army was formed. His service continued with the Territorial Army until the start of the 1914-18 War where again he saw action in France. He finally left the Army in 1921 after serving a total of 35 years.

The remainder of his civilian life was spent in and around Burbage. He lived for many years in Britannia Road and in later years almost became a recluse. Unfortunately during the latter part of his life he became deaf and blind and eventually passed away on 11 March 1961. after succumbing to severe burns received by falling into his fire.

He was buried in St Catherine's Churchyard, Burbage in an unmarked grave.

However, due to the efforts of Burbage Heritage Group, an appeal was launched to raise funds to erect a commemorative headstone over the grave of this forgotten hero. On Saturday 2 September after a well-attended service, this was unveiled by Jennifer, Lady Gretton , the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire.

Memorial unveiling by Jennifer, Lady Gretton, the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire

Apart from his military service, Sharrad Gilbert on his return from the South African War wrote an interesting account of his services in the Imperial Yeomanry entitled "Rhodesia and After", now available in re-printed form.

Burbage Heritage Group would like to thank all who have donated to the memorial appeal and list below their names where known.

A & D Mogg, A Cox, A Ingle, A Pidcock, A Smith, Air Ministry Militaria, Bond St Trophies, Burbage Arts Festival Committee, Burbage Constitutional Club, Burbage Heritage Group, Burbage Parish Council, C & G Salter, Collectors World, D & G Rowan, Dixons Medals, E George & W Coley, Earl Shilton Local History Group, F & L Walker Contactus Framing, G Sebright, G Seller & Co. Limited Funeral Directors Hinckley, Geoffrey Hill Solicitors, Gladman & Norman Ltd, H Hague, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, Hinckley and District Past and Present, Hinckley Chamber of Trade, J D Lawrence, J E Frecknall, J Martin, J Tenniswood, K Furborough, K Sturgess, L Farmer, Lt. Col. B Barber, M Arkle, M Doyle, M Hampson, Mr & Mrs B Simpson, Mr & Mrs D Wright, Mr & Mrs G Whitworth, Mr & Mrs J Barsby, Mr & Mrs J Dickinson, Mr & Mrs J M Grech, Mr & Mrs J Taylor, Mr & Mrs R Haddon, Mr & Mrs S Drozdz, MR & Mrs S Kellaway, Mr A Logan, Mr D Atwill, Mr D Tredinnick MP, Mr G Snaith, Mr J Robbins, Mr M Mellor, Mr M Young, Mr P McDermott, Mr S & Mrs S Milnthorpe, Mr S Dance, Mr S Powers, Mrs C Trigg, Mrs I Hart, Mrs J M Birchall, Mrs S Dicker, Ms A Howkins, N Smith, P A Burman, R Crockett, R E & Y Cotton, R Payne, Royal British Legion Earl Shilton, Royal British Legion Hinckley, Royal British Legion Melton Mowbrey, Service Commeratives, St Catherine’s Church, Sturgess Hutchinson, T Griffiths, The Leicestershire & Derbyshire  (Prince Albert’s Own) Yeomanry Association, The Royal Anglian Regiment, The Royal Tigers Association, Tom Wightman, Trafford investments, W G Box, Worcestershire Medal Service and other anonymous donors.