Film ID: NEFA 18472 Video of The Spirit of the Kelly THE SPIRIT OF THE KELLY 1978 Visitor TabsDescription Amateur film showing the visit by Lord Louis Mountbatten to Tyneside on Tuesday 24 October 1978 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launching of the HMS Kelly, a vessel he commanded. Mountbatten visits South Shields Town Hall, British Shipbuilders yard and the Sea Cadets Training Unit at Hebburn, and Tyne Dock. Title: The Spirit of the Kelly. The film opens with a view of a miniature wooden remembrance cross bearing a poppy. A train arrives into Newcastle Central Station, on board is Lord Louis Mountbatten, Admiral of the Fleet. Mountbatten is met by the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear, Sir James Steel and the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Sir Robin Chatwin. General views of Lord Mountbatten’ visiting Euryalus P.H.A.B. Club (Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied Club) in Jarrow, where he unveils a plaque and officially opens the building. This scene records Lord Mountbatten's visit to South Shields Town Hall, where sailors from HMS Euryalus form a ceremonial guard on the Town Hall steps. General views of lunch being served and enjoyed by guests. Councillor Tom Bell presents Lord Mountbatten with a large framed drawing by local artist Bob Olley, depicting the career and exploits of HMS Kelly. Jarrow singer-songwriter Alan Price is introduced to Mountbatten; Price wrote and sang a song about the Kelly. Survivors from the Kelly reminisce with their old commander. Lord Mountbatten leaves South Shields Town Hall to attend a remembrance ceremony at the Kelly memorial in Hebburn cemetery. Wreaths are laid by Mountbatten and members of South Tyneside Council. The next sequence shows Lord Mountbatten visiting the British Shipbuilders yard at Hebburn, formerly R.W. Hawthorn Leslie, where HMS Kelly was built. Mountbatten is introduced to Mr John Steel, Chief Executive of Swan Hunter Shipbuilders. He unveils a painting of the Kelly, and recalls memories of the workers and foremen who he met at Hebburn during the Kelly’s construction. General view of Lord Mountbatten cuting a commemorative cake. General views of Lord Mountbatten visiting the Sea Cadets training unit TS Kelly (Hebburn Sea Cadet Corps). Mountbatten presents a silver trophy, to be called the Mountbatten Trophy, to the Sea Cadets. The film ends with Lord Mountbatten inspecting HMS Euryalus, a frigate anchored at Tyne Dock. Mountbatten meets the Captain and his crew of 12 officers and 225 men. Title: The End. Context On Tuesday 24 October 1978 the Queen’s cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten, arrived on Tyneside for various engagements to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launch of the naval ship HMS Kelly. The Kelly was built on the River Tyne at Hebburn by the firm Hawthorn Leslie, a K-Class destroyer, named after the Admiral of the Fleet, Sir John Kelly, whose daughter launched her on 25 October 1938. Mountbatten was her captain. In 1977 Hawthorn Leslie became part of the publicly owned and managed British Shipbuilders Corporation. At South Shields Town Hall the Mayor of Tyneside, Councillor Tom Bell, presented Lord Mountbatten with a large drawing depicting the life of HMS Kelly by the local artist Robert Olley, once a miner at Whitburn Colliery. He was also introduced to the rhythm and blues musician Alan Price who, along with South Tyneside playwright Tom Kelly, wrote the musical Kelly about the fated ship. HMS Kelly brought the Duke of Windsor (the former King Edward VIII) back to England from Le Havre in France on 12 September 1939, soon after the Prime Minister of Britain, Neville Chamberlain, declared war on Germany. The ship was in the thick of the action during World War Two, suffering two devastating hits. She was torpedoed in the North Sea on the night of 9 May 1940 with the loss of 27 lives. The perilous four day journey back to the Hebburn shipyard, towed by the Great Emperor tugboat, was the inspiration for Noel Coward and David Lean’s directorial debut of 1942 In Which We Serve. After returning to service, the ship led the 5th Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean and was tragically bombed and sunk by the Luftwaffe on 23 May 1941: one hundred and thirty men were killed. All the crew members who perished on HMS Kelly are remembered in memorials at Hebburn Cemetery, erected by the survivors of HMS Kelly and the workers at Hawthorn Leslie, which Lord Mountbatten visited, along with other survivors, for this remembrance service in 1978.