This film is part of Free

Home-coming of Private Young, Preston's V.C.

Preston turns out in force for the homecoming of Private William Young, the valiant recipient of a Victoria Cross

Non-Fiction 1916 7 mins Silent


Locals throng the flag-bedecked streets of Preston to welcome home their hero, Private Young, who was awarded the Victoria Cross in March 1916. Amidst the jostling crowds, the filmmakers capture the palpable mood of celebration and collective pride. Preston-based acrobat turned filmmaker Will Onda produced over 100 local topical films for screening in northern cinemas, and this one exudes particular vibrancy.

William Young was a private in the 8th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, during WWI. He received the VC for rescuing his sergeant in the face of heavy enemy fire while serving east of Foncquevillers, France. Look out for his wife and children outside their terraced house on Heysham Street, and note how Young is jubilantly transported to the Town Hall - in a coach drawn by soldiers rather than horses! Sadly, Private Young died just a few months later in Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot, where he had been admitted for an operation in August 1916.