Sword’s re­turn helps hon­our brave ma­jor

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRITTON

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.”

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●● 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

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