Students celebrate the amazing achievement of local man Michael Heaviside

Yesterday, the following students were honoured and privileged to represent our Academy at a very special event. In recognition of their brilliant efforts in our recent creative writing project, which celebrated the amazing achievement of a local man Michael Heaviside, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroic deeds at the battle of Arras, on 6th May 1917.

  • Kieren Allaker,
  • Nathan Collinson,
  • Kyrin Curtis,
  • Dyllan Harold,
  • Jessica Johnson,
  • Adam McKie,
  • Naeve Renforth 
  • Malik Scott

Stanley was brought to a halt, when hundreds of people turned out to commemorate Pte Heaviside’s homecoming parade of a century ago, by staging a re-enactment. We walked between the banners from Craghead and Sacriston collieries, in both of which, Michael had worked as a miner. The atmosphere was amazing as we processed down from the top of the town, many people lining the streets, waving union jacks as the band played the music which would have been played in the original parade. Hundreds of schoolchildren from local schools excitedly cheered and waved, greeting the tv cameras as they filmed the spectacle. At the rear of the parade was a horse drawn charabanc, carrying some of the Heaviside family, including Norman, a grandson of the hero, who was dressed in a replica uniform.

The parade stopped as we reached the old town hall, where Norman made an emotional speech, then invited Dyllan Harold to read one of the brilliant pieces written for our project- a diary entry written from Michael’s perspective on the night of his homecoming.  Dyllan read beautifully and was highly commended by several people, including the Mayor of Stanley.

Our students proved to be excellent ambassadors for our school, their brilliant behaviour and obvious respect was commented on by several people, including the Mayor, the events organiser and a member of the security team. We may not have made it on to the tv but you were all stars!

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