Tribute to Ilkeston war hero unveiled

Ilkeston History Society unveiling plaque to war hero Brian Shaw who died in 1998.  Pictured from left are Mr Shaw's Cousin Margaret Boam, Coun Terry Holbrook and history group president Danny Corns
Ilkeston History Society unveiling plaque to war hero Brian Shaw who died in 1998. Pictured from left are Mr Shaw's Cousin Margaret Boam, Coun Terry Holbrook and history group president Danny Corns

A plaque has been unveiled in Ilkeston in tribute to a hero who fought in both world wars.

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Shaw was born at Ferns Hollow, on Station Road, on February 10, 1898. The plaque was unveiled by Ilkeston and District Local History Society.

Mr Shaw was a marksman and sniper in World War One. He had joined the Sherwood Foresters in 1916 and fought at Passchendaele and Cambrai on The Somme where he ventured into ‘no man’s land’ to rescue an injured colleague while under heavy gun fire from the enemy. He was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery.

He went on to volunteer for duty in World War Two when he was left behind at Dunkirk. He tried to make his way to Spain when he was captured and spent four years in a prisoner of war camp.

Mr Shaw went on to study at university, gaining a degree and PDF before becoming a lecturer.

At the age of 52 he won the coveted Bisley medal for his markmanship.

Danny Corn, president of the history society, said: “He returned to the university of Nottingham on demob and devised many explosive experiments during his talks, which caught the attention of the BBC. He appeared on the 1969 Horizon programme and many more.

“He then travelled the world performing in America, the continent and further afield.

“In 1985 he was awarded the first unique award of a medal from The Royal Society of Chemistry in recognition of his work.

“The society believes local people who achieved so much should not be forgotten.”

He died in Beeston in 1998, aged 101.