Family of late councillor relieved after headstone fitted on grave - 19 years after his death - The Leamington Observer

Family of late councillor relieved after headstone fitted on grave - 19 years after his death

Leamington Editorial 15th Sep, 2017   0

THE FAMILY of a late Leamington councillor have spoken of their relief after a headstone was finally placed on his grave.

Reginald Goodwin Sharp, former town councillor and president of the Leamington Conservative Club, passed away in 1998 aged 87 and was buried at Harbury Cemetery.

Reg – as he was known to family and friends – spent most of his life living on Lillington Road and regularly visited his ‘beloved’ Jephson Gardens.

He left Natwest bank as the sole executor of his estate, which included instructions to arrange a headstone.

But when his nephews and nieces – who had since moved to Ireland and the south of England – decided to visit their uncle’s grave a few years after his death, they were shocked to discover there was no headstone.

What followed was a long and ‘distressing’ battle with the bank, and after correspondence between the Natwest and nephew Roger Sharp dried up, the family contacted The Observer.

After we spoke to the bank, they apologised to the family and offered to meet the cost of the headstone.

Now – 19 years after his death – the stone has been put up.

The delighted family came from far and wide to see for themselves and pay their respects.

Roger said: “Nine of us gathered at Harbury cemetery, five cousins and four spouses. We were delighted to see the headstone in place marking our Uncle Reg’s grave. It was a relief too to see that it was correctly inscribed, showing his parents and indicating the love all his nephews and nieces had for him.

“It was a poignant yet happy occasion to finally see his grave properly marked after the initial and prolonged difficulty we had in getting his executor to agree to make good their failing to provide a headstone as Reg had requested in his will.”

Their uncle had an illustrious career working in mapping in the Second World War – which saw him three times mentioned in dispatches – and then publishing maps of his hometown when the war ended. He produced a new version every two years.

Roger said a fitting headstone was what he deserved.

He added: “I would like to think that our uncle will be happy that his grave is properly marked to commemorate him.”

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