New film on Sunderland Camperdown legend Jack Crawford

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A DOCUMENTARY maker has nailed his colours to the mast with his latest project.

Mark Thorburn, who runs Lonely Tower Film & Media, has made a film about Sunderland legend Jack Crawford, whose heroics during the Battle of Camperdown in 1797 have entered folklore.

During a fierce battle with the Dutch during the French Revolution, brave Jack scaled the battered mast of Admiral Duncan’s flagship, the Venerable, as cannon balls rained all around, to re-attach his leader’s flag, nailing it to the mast so there would be no doubt the British were still in control. The British went on to win a resounding victory.

Jack became a hero during his own lifetime and beyond, and his exploits are now the subject of a new documentary.

Mark said: “With a personal interest in maritime history and the age of Nelson, the story of local Lad Jack Crawford was too good to miss”.

Mark, who was helped by the Sunderland Antiquarian Society, launched the film – Jack Crawford – The Hero of Camperdown (1797) – yesterday with Jack’s great-great-great-great grandson Brian Franklin, who came up to the North East from his home in Buckinghamshire in order to see the sights in Sunderland related to his illustrious ancestor, including Crawford’s grave in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Hendon, and his statue at Mowbray Park.

He said: “To have such an ancestor is very humbling and exciting, to see the way that he was honoured by Sunderland is very moving.”