As the country remembers the 75th Anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day this Friday, 8 May, it seems fitting to reflect on the heritage of the Sandstone Ridge, including the number of churchyards scattered across this landscape, and in which are remembered so many local lads.
With the Bolesworth Estate so heavily involved in land management on the Sandstone Ridge, it might be of interest to many (and to farmers within our Sandstone Ridge Farmer Network), that the Barbour Family were to lose one of their own sons in WWII.
Robert James Barbour, aged 23, and a Lieutenant with the Welsh Guards, died in Italy in February 1944.
Robert was the youngest son of the late Major Robert Barbour (formerly of the Cheshire Yeomanry), and Ida Lavington Barbour of Bolesworth Castle. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College Cambridge. Robert went to Sandhurst in 1941 and won the Belt of Honour as the Best Cadet of his term. Passing out of Sandhurst, he was commissioned in the Welsh Guards, was immediately placed in charge of the demonstration platoon and was regarded as a promising and efficient Officer. He was posted to North Africa and took over the duties of Battalion Intelligence.
Lieutenant Robert James Barbour is remembered in Cassino Cemetery, Italy, and on the Bickerton War Memorial. A Memorial Service was also held at Harthill Church.