This film is part of Free

Funeral of the Late Captain of the Mexborough Fire Brigade (1902)

A well-respected community figure is laid to rest in Edwardian South Yorkshire.

Non-Fiction 1902 4 mins Silent


This is the only surviving part of what was probably a longer film marking the death of fire brigade chief WS Petit, a much-admired pillar of the Doncaster community. It's a curious film, beginning with shots of the hounds and members of the Rotherham hunt with which Mr Pettit was associated, before showing family members, officials and fireman colleagues making their way to the funeral.

Said the Mexborough and Swinton Times (31st January 1902): "The appearance of the photographer at the funeral of the late Mr W S Pettit at Mexboro', yesterday (Thursday), aroused some curiosity, especially at the cemetery, where a most unusual - as far as Mexboro' is concerned - photograph at the grave-side was taken." The film was commissioned and shot by Mitchell and Kenyon's cameraman Albert Wilkinson; Mitchell and Kenyon presumably retained the original negative after processing the 200 feet of film for him. This event was a change of pace for Wilkinson, who was particularly skilled at recording difficult live action sporting events. He is himself captured on film in Rotherham Football (c.1900).