Robert Wilson’s Grave Near Pinhaw Beacon, Elslack Moor, Craven, North Yorkshire, England

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Robert Wilson’s Grave Near Pinhaw Beacon, Elslack Moor, Craven, North Yorkshire, England. Beacon Guards were a group of hurriedly enlisted men enrolled to tend the hilltop beacons set up as part of the national system designed to provide a warning at a time when an invasion by Napoleon was thought to be imminent. It is thought that Robert Wilson was the chief beacon guard at Pinhaw in 1805. He and his two helpers had a small hut about 30m from the beacon, the footings of which can still (2004) be traced. During the winter of 1804-05 there was severe weather that trapped the men in their huts for a lengthy period. Provisions were running low and Robert volunteered to try and reach Moor Side Farm to replenish them. Despite pleas from his helpers to wait until the weather broke he set off with his bag and his milk can never to be seen alive again. His body was discovered a short time later some 150m from the shelter. A stone was erected on the spot where he was found but whether this is his actual burial site is a mystery. The inscription, faded but still legible, reads: Here was found dead the Body of Robert Wilson, one of the beacon Guards, who Died Jan 29th, 1805, aged 69 years

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