Rose Garden of Remembrance

On the 26th February 1921, the Burbage War Memorial was unveiled and three weeks after the original inauguration, on Saturday the 26th March 1921, families of the fallen each planted a rose in memory of the fifty-nine deceased on the village green surrounding memorial. A small plaque was added to each rose with the name of the solder of which it was in memory.

The creation of the rose garden was the idea of Major Charles Chamberlain Hurst, Managing Director of the Burbage Nurseries. In 1921, Hurst had recently retired from the Territorial Army in which he had served for over twenty years including active service in WW1. Hurst provided the roses and promised him and his heirs and successors would keep and maintain the garden for all time.

A chance find on Croft Car Boot of an original framed memorial list commerating the event and an original invitation held by the Asbury family brought this forgotten event to light.  

In 1923, Major Hurst had moved to Cambridge to pursue his genetic research and by 1929, the nurseries were sold to George Geary. The Nurseries continued to maintain the garden until their closure in 1970.

By the early 1990’s, the garden had fell into disrepair and the Parish Council launched an appeal for donations to replant the area with a rose especially bred for the 75th Anniversary of the Royal British Legion.

Some of the original name plaques were still in the ground and these were rescued and preserved by Tom King.

In 1996, the garden was reopened with donations from fourteen family members of the fallen from both wars, Burbage organisations, individuals and the Parish Council contributed the remainder. A plaque can be seen behind the memorial.

Shortly afterwards the War Memorial was restored and in 1999 gates were erected to complete a fitting frame to our beautiful memorial.

In 2007, the ‘heirs and successors’ of the Hurst Family visited the village to unveil a blue plaque to Charles Chamberlain Hurst and were quite relieved to find the Parish Council had taken over maintenance of the garden.