17th Regiment of Foot – a connection to Belgrave

On Saturday 6th April 2024 was the first open weekend of the season for Belgrave Hall, and the Trust’s Heritage room in the courtyard. In addition to our display, and the the tours of the Hall, a unit representing the 17th Regiment of Foot from “Redcoats & Revolutionaries”, an 18th Century Re-enactment Group,  were at the Hall to talk to visitors about the regiment  (which later became the Leicestershire Regiment) and the lives of the soldiers and their families in the 18th century.

The Trust were able to provide the group with an unexpected link to Belgrave; in St. Peter’s churchyard, on the side of the South Porch, is a plaque commemorating William Kirk , who was a Captain in the actual 17th Regiment of Foot in the late 18th and early 19th century, and his wife Sarah. Captain Kirk was married to the sister of William Bradley (a timber merchant) of Belgrave who had the porch built as a replacement for the original porch damaged in a storm.

William was posted to India, accompanied by Sarah. Sarah died in Calcutta in October 1807 (the cause isn’t given but probably disease) and William was killed in an action against a hill-fort, Fort Comona, in November 1807 along with another officer and 47 soldiers.