Remembering our own Local Hero - Private Heaviside

During the First World War, on the 6th May at the Battle of Arras, a stretcher-bearer by the name of Michael Heaviside, from Craghead, performed an act of true heroism.

A wounded soldier was sheltering in a shell-crater, and was waving his water bottle. Private Heaviside risked his own life bringing life-saving water to the desperate man, who had been there for four days and three nights. Later that evening, when the shelling and gunfire eased, Private Heaviside led his team of stretcher bearers to rescue the soldier. For this he was awarded the Victoria Cross and he arrived back to Stanley to a huge hero’s welcome.

Michael Heaviside VC returned to work as a collier when the war ended but the poison gas he had encountered in the trenches had damaged his lungs and he died in April 1939. Hundreds of mourners, many wearing their Great War medals, joined the local Colliery Band, following his coffin and three volleys of shots were fired over his grave by members of his battalion.  Members of the Durham Light Infantry dropped Flanders’ poppies onto the interred coffin.

A number of our Literacy Intervention students’ have been working on a display which is in the main atrium which pays tribute to Private Heaviside. Some students undertook independent research, finding facts and photographs telling his story, others wrote poetry/ diary entries and others wrote letters.

Please pop in and take a look!

heaviside display (2)

Creative Writing done at NDA by Literacy Intervention groups in tribute to Michael Heaviside

Dyllan Harold - Year 9

Surapet Puphuak - Year 7

Natasha Bryan and Jessica Sibley - Year 10

Dear Diary by Corey Daglish, Mason Pine and Keiran Valentine - Year 7



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