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Film of the arrival of Michael Heaviside VC in Stanley

Film of Craghead's Victoria Cross hero returning home in 1917

There are two known versions of the film that shows the official welcome for Private Michael Heaviside VC when he returned to Stanley on 12 July 1917.

The Imperial War Museum film (IWM 1179) is 3:55 minutes long and you can watch it on the IWM website:
Arrival of Private Heaviside VC in Stanley

The film in the Beamish Museum collection is 3:30 minutes long and you can watch it on YouTube:
Private Michael Heaviside VC arriving at Shield Row station

Here is a synopsis of the Beamish version:
0:00 – 0:44
The train from Newcastle steams into Shield Row station and Michael Heaviside is welcomed on the platform
0:45 – 0:57
Heaviside is seated in an open-topped car, specially loaned for the occasion by South Moor’s MP, John Smith. His young daughter is on his knee, and they are surrounded by crowds, ready for the procession to start
0:58 – 1:08
At the head of the procession, as it rounds a corner on its way through Stanley, is the Stanley corps of the 1st Durham Volunteers
1:09 – 1:13
The Volunteers are followed by the South Moor Church Lads’ Brigade
1:14 – 1:16
Unidentified soldiers
1:17 – 1:31
Craghead Lodge colliery banner
1:32 – 1:33
Band, the Stanley Nobblers, precedes the motor cars
1:34 – 1:38
Cars in the procession
1:39 – 1:56
Procession of children waving flags
1:57 – 2:12
Children lining a street in Stanley on the route of the procession
2:13 – 2:20
Procession approaches
2:21 – 3:12
Elevated view of the procession, probably from the Stanley UDC Council Office balcony
2:21 – 2:30
Craghead Lodge colliery banner
2:31 – 2:34
Another banner, unidentified
2:35 – 2:37
Craghead Lodge colliery banner and crowds
2:38 – 3:00
Cavalcade of cars
3:01 – 3:12
Procession of horse-drawn carts
3:13 – 3:30
Crowds of onlookers and the returning hero on a ‘walkabout’, stopping to shake hands

The archive film at the Imperial War Museum contains additional footage of Heaviside on the balcony of Stanley UDC council offices that is not on the Beamish Museum version.

Research for the Durham at War project has revealed that this film contains the first known image of the Craghead Colliery banner that was unfurled by John Johnson in 1909.

Norman Emery (Banners of the Durham Coalfield, 1998) comments:
Watching the amazing film it looked as though the banner was a patterned silk, which would suggest it came from the Tutill jacquard loom. The design shows the two miners shaking hands, the one on the left with his pick over his shoulder, and the one on the right holding a safety lamp. Rising between them is the angel, and the motto ‘He that would be free must strike the blow’. This is also a standard Tutill pattern book design. Everything suggests it is the 1909 banner.

Date: 1917-Jul-12

Reference: IWM 1179

Where to find this: Beamish Museum
Imperial War Museum

Contributed by Durham County Record Office

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