|LONG DELAYED RECOGNITION BY THE ERECTION OF A HEADSTONE OVER PRIVATE MICHAEL HEAVISIDE'S GRAVE IN ST THOMAS'S CHURCHYARD, CRAGHEAD, CO DURHAM.|
|"Evening Chronicle", Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1st November 1999|
|Michael Heaviside survived the war and died on 26th April 1939, aged 58, at Craghead, Co. Durham following a long illness owing to the effects of gas poisoning from the war. He was buried in an unmarked grave in St. Thomas's Churchyard, Craghead, and because of the imminent beginning of WWII, the erection of a stone was forgotten.
Although Heaviside's grave was unmarked, the location was known through the burial records of St Thomas's church. However, these records were destroyed in a fire, thus condemning Michael Heaviside to obscurity. It was only in 1999 that an effort was made to locate the grave by matching burial numbers, held by the local council, to the graves attached to them. Thus, after much 'jig-sawing' and a process of elimination, Heaviside's burial location was finally pinpointed.
On 1st. November 1999, a headstone, paid for by the family, the DLI Association and the Light Infantry, was unveiled, the Last Post sounding once more for Private Michael Heaviside whose courage was finally rewarded after 60 years.
St. Thomas's church is now a private residence, but pedestrian access to the churchyard is possible via the driveway. .
|For the award of the Victoria Cross,
[ London Gazette, 8 June 1917 ]. Fontaine-les-Croiselles, France, 6 May 1917, Private Michael Heaviside, 15th Bn, Durham Light Infantry.
"Upon seeing a wounded man lying some 40 yards from the enemy line, he volunteered to take food and water to him. He reached the man, despite heavy enemy machine-gun fire, finding him demented with thirst as he had been there for four days. After attending to the man's injuries, Private Heaviside crawled back only to return to the man under the cover of darkness to bring him safely to British lines. For this selfless action Michael Heaviside was awarded the Victoria Cross."Michael Heaviside was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 21st July 1917.
( select to enlarge )
|Medal entitlement of Private Michael Heaviside,
15th Bn, Durham Light Infantry
Iain Stewart, 1 November 1999