Sword’s return helps honour brave major
AWAR hero given a sword for his bravery will be honoured again when his great-great grandson brings the cherished item back to the town.
Major Hugh Robert Hibbert, a lieutenant in the 7th Royal Fusiliers who fought in the Crimean War, was honoured with a grand procession in his home town in 1856, the end of the Crimean War.
During the conflict, he was severely injured on a number of occasions and nearly died before being sent back to England.
Crowds lined the streets for the procession and Major Hibbert was presented with a sword and scabbard for his bravery.
It was led by the Mayor William Coare Brocklehurst and declared a public holiday.
The cherished items were given to his greatgreat grandson Mark Hibbert-Hingston for his 12th birthday and have been stored in his mother’s house since.
But now Mr HibbertHingston, who lives in Winchester, has offered the loan of the sword, scabbard and presentation box to Macclesfield Town Council to go on display at the Town Hall for a year in an exhibition by Macclesfield historian Dorothy Bentley-Smith.
Mayor Alift Harewood will open the exhibition today (Wednesday).
Mr Hibbert-Hingston said: “My grandfather knew I loved it and gave me the sword for my birthday.
“Since my mid-teens I have wondered why a humble major should be presented with such a wonderful gift by his home town but there are no family records to explain and I was left in suspense for almost 50 years. I joined the Army and served for 25 years, although in the Coldstream Guards, not in Major Hibbert’s regiment.
“Earlier this year, and soon after my mother passed away, I decided it was time more people had a chance to admire the sword and I approached the HQ of my great-great grandfather’s regiment in the Tower of London. They said they don’t accept any items on loan, so I contacted Macclesfield.” Major Hibbert was born in 1828 at Birtles Hall in Over Alderley.
Mrs Bentley-Smith said she has been researching the Crimean War and was interested in the items.
Mr Hibbert-Hingston said: “So we came to the agreement for the town to borrow the sword for a special exhibition. Mrs Bentley-Smith is going to give us the background to the presentation and the brave actions which prompted the town to make such a generous gesture to one of its sons.”
●● Macclesfield gasworks
●● Mark Hibbert-Hingston with the ornamental sword presented to his great-great grandfather in 1856, which is going on show in Macclesfield
●● Major Hugh Hibbert