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Film Project
"Gallantry in the Face of the Enemy, William Henry Short VC"

William Henry Short

Introduction: Private William Henry Short, VC

   Local Hero Private William Henry Short of the 8th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) won his Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery during an attack at Munster Alley near Pozieres on the 6th August 1916.

   Although severely wounded he refused to go back and continued fighting.   He died of his wounds the next day before he could be carried out of the trench.

   His body was eventually buried in Contalmaison Chateaux Cemetery some four miles to the north east of Albert, France.

   William's name is recorded on the obelisk in our local Eston Cemetery and on the Grangetown War Memorial. William Henry Short: Obelisk in Eston Cemetery (© Francis Hannaway) William Henry Short: Obelisk in Eston Cemetery (© Francis Hannaway) William Henry Short: Grangetown War Memorial (© Stan Grosvenor)

   William Henry Short was born to James and Annie of 11 William Street, Eston on 4th February 1885.   There were five sons and four daughters.   The family moved to 35 Vaughan Street, Grangetown in 1901.

Centenary Commemoration

William Henry Short VC Commemorative Paving Stone    At 11 am on Saturday 6th August 2016 there was a moving ceremony to unveil a commemorative paving stone for local hero Private William Henry Short VC in our Eston Cemetery in front of the Memorial Cross by the West Lodge at the Normanby Road entrance.

   The ceremony was well attended with members of William's family and their friends, representatives of local associations and local dignitaries as well as many local people including members of our History Group.

Film Project Proposal

   In early August 2016 our group was approached by Lonely Tower Film & Media  (a County Durham based small production company specialising in documentary projects particularly WW1) to consider collaborating in a film documentary project about Private William Henry Short VC.
William Henry Short VC - Film Team Meeting    This was discusssed at our group's August meeting and it was agreed that a small team of members should explore this further.
   After further work with Lonely Tower the project team submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund  for an award to support the proposal.
   We are very pleased that this award has now been agreed (see Press Release below).

   The project work will now begin and updates on progress reports will be appended to this article at intervals.

23rd April 2017 - Press Release Announcing Heritage Lottery Fund Award for Project

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15th July 2017 - Progress Report

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22nd October 2017 - Progress Report

William Henry Short VC - Film Titles    On the evening of Thursday 12th October 2017 members of Normanby Local History Group Paul Boden, Sylvia Fairbrass, Sheila Nicholson and Joan Outhwaite met with Mark Thorburn and Marie Gardiner from Lonely Tower Film and Media to have a first viewing of "Gallantry in the Face of the Enemy - William Henry Short V.C."
   They were joined by Ian Stubbs, Local Historian who also kindly contributed to the film.
   Steve Erskine from the Green Howards Museum and William Short who also featured in the film were unfortunately unable to attend.

   The story of William Short, his family and Richard Sandford plus the history of the area at the time of the Great War had been expertly put together to create a moving film.   We had indeed come a very long way from our first meetings about the project just over a year ago.

William Henry Short VC - Film DVD Cover William Henry Short VC - Film Credits
   Only a few minor edits to the film are being carried out and we are now planning for the launch of the film to a wider audience.

   Our thanks go to Lonely Tower and the actors involved and also to Mr and Mrs Fairbrass who kindly hosted the "first showing".

29th November 2017 - Progress Report - Film Premiere

William Henry Short VC - Film Poster The film is finished and released !
The Normanby Local History Group are pleased to announce that
we presented the first public showing of the film
"Gallantry in the Face of the Enemy - William Henry Short V.C."
on Wednesday 29th November at the Eston & Normanby Social Club
Entry was free - all were made welcome !

About 80 people including four members of the Green Howards Regiment
attended to see the story of our local VC hero of World War One.

The Guest of Honour was Sir Harry Wilmot DL
Her Majesty's Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.

For views of this film premiere (and the preview to our Group on 22nd November)
go to our photo gallery  page.
(photos by Sheila Nicholson and Barbara Greenmon).


Please note that this film is now also available on DVD for personal viewing.
See our Publications page.

15th April 2018 - Progress Report

   Paul Boden, a member of our Normanby Local History Group, was invited to attend an Heritage Lottery Fund  (HLF) event on the 8th March 2018 at TunedIn in Redcar.
   This was so Paul could share his experience in applying for an HLF grant and to encourage others to apply for grants.
   Paul was one of four speakers and he talked about William Henry Short VC and how the film came about.
   He covered from the initial meeting with Lonely Tower Film & Media  through to applying for and receiving the lottery grant from the HLF First World War: then and now  grant programme.
   The William Short VC film was shown over lunch.   The day was a great success.
   Paul made contact with several individuals and groups at the event and has since contributed an article relevant to William Short on the North East Yorkshire Geology Trust  website.   This article is one of those featured as part of the trust’s project Who Digs Wins - Geology in the First World War  .

   On the 23rd March the film about William Henry Short VC was shown to a group of Redcar and Cleveland councillors including the leader of the council Sue Jeffrey.

   Updates to this article will be added here as progress is made.

© 2017    Normanby Local History Group