Friday, 18 December 2015

Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Sheffield Blitz

1940s' Christmas Treats
Saturday 12th was the 75th Anniversary of the first day of the Sheffield Blitz in which many Sheffielders lost their lives. Along with many others, we braved the rain to attend Sheffield Cathedral's commemoration event, Blitz Christmas.

War time memorabilia
Although we arrived looking like drowned rats, we soon dried off and began to learn more about what war time Christmas was like for ordinary people living in Sheffield in 1940. 

Thankfully no-one in my family nor my husband's was killed during the bombing of Sheffield, but at least one family friend was not so lucky. At 11.44pm on 12th December 1940, the Marples Hotel in the centre of Sheffield took a direct hit from a 500kg bomb and an estimate of 70 people sheltering there lost their lives, including my grandmother's best friend.   

Air Raid Patrol (ARP) Wardens' Equipment

For those of us born after the war, it is difficult to imagine what it was to like to live through the war years so commemorative events such as this one at Sheffield Cathedral are important in helping us to gain a little understanding of what people had to endure and how they coped. 

Would you leave your dog behind?

I didn't realise until reading the label on this dog that when going in to an air raid shelter people were expected by the government not to take their dogs with them.  
Rest station for those losing their homes
Many of the displays were put together by UKHomefront, a non profit Living History group, who travel the country entertaining and education about life during World war 2 by portraying working class people during this time. 

I am really pleased that I now know of a home for an old brown suitcase and a couple of the old style woollen blankets that have been in the family for many years and that we have been very reluctant to throw out even though they haven't been used since I was a child. It is so good to know that they can be made use of and I am looking forward to passing them onto this group in the New Year.