Forgive and Forget

Forgive and Forget

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c. June 1921 (of event)


01min 37sec




35mm, film, intertitles

black and white


National Film and Television Archive


British Film Institute

Rights Holder

British Film Institute

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George V used the opening of the Northern Ireland parliament in June 1921 as an opportunity to appeal for peace, ´to stretch out the hand of forbearance and conciliation, to forgive and forget´. The King informed James Craig that his entourage had not encouraged him to attend. The train carrying the King's cavalry was attacked the next day resulting in four deaths. The IRA agreed a truce a fortnight later on 11th July 1921. This led to talks involving de Valera and the formal negotiations between October and 6th December between Dail plenipotentiaries and the British government. The film shows the royal progress from the Belfast docks, up High Street, on the way to the City Hall. ´Recalling the Terror before the Truce´ shows Auxies and Black and Tans in an armoured car (probably a Crossley tender) and people and a train (this is probably to do with the release of prisioners following the Truce).


This is a key moment in the ending of the War of Indpendence. Just over a decade later, George V's son, the Prince of Wales would visit Northern Ireland to open Stormont. The Prince made the following speech: 'My Lord Duke, my lords, ladies and gentlemen, His Majesty the King, being unable to be present himself, has charged me, as his representative, to perform today’s ceremony of opening the building which is to be the home of your parliament. No-one can fail to be touched by the nobility and bounty of fabric and the spanning of the site dominating a great part of your beautiful countryside here at the capital city of Belfast of which you are justly proud. In the name and behalf of His Majesty the King, I declare this building to be open. May the blessing of almighty God rest upon it and those ministers, magistrates and other public servants who labour therein.' The Prince’s visit in 1932 reflects back to the moment his father visited a decade earlier and, just as the former visit was a crucial moment in the process of partition, the prince’s visit too signifies the expanding differences between north and south.

Shot List

'Forgive and Forget. Recalling the King's noble plea at Belfast for peace, a plea which has at last borne fruit.' Parade down High Street, showing the Albert clock in the background. 00:27 'Recalling the Terror before the Truce'. View from behind of Black and Tan soldiers in the back of a jeep travelling down a city street and showing them jumping out of the jeep. View of soldiers on horseback on a city street - not sure if this is Belfast.


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