The event will comprise of a series of short talks, including the following:
For further information regarding each of the speakers, please visit the Speakers page.
Chris Hobbs – Sheffield’s First Air Raid – Monday 25th September 1916
On Monday evening, September 25 1916, the first civilians in Sheffield to be killed in an air raid died when one German Zeppelin dropped bombs on the city. The city was one of the largest armaments producers in the Empire and was vital to the war effort. The German Navy Zeppelin L22 approached Sheffield from the south-east circled clockwise over the city before dropping incendiaries and high explosives over the districts of Pitsmoor and Attercliffe. The bombs narrowly missed the city’s factories, but they found a target in the closely built workers’ houses that lay adjacent to the factories. Nine men, ten women and ten children lost their lives in the attack
At the unveiling of the memorial to the victims on 11th November 1922, Mr. T.W. Casey stated that
“”We must keep their memory green and revere their names as long as we live”
This is my effort to “keep their memory green”
Sarah Holland – Rural Life, Farm Work and the Great War in Sheffield
The Great War created additional demand for farm labour in Sheffield as elsewhere. As male farm workers went to fight, the search for replacement labour began. The focus of this talk is the campaign to recruit Land Girls to work on farms around Sheffield – including how this was charted in the local press, from their initial struggles to their later successes.
Mike Collins – Sheffield Hospitals in the Great War: Great Challenges
Almost 70,000 repatriated soldiers were treated in Sheffield during the Great War. This presented major organisational challenges to the authorities and the staff because of the workload and the unfamiliar illnesses and injuries among the soldiers. Staff shortages resulted because of ‘call ups’ to work overseas. Civilian patients were displaced to accommodate the soldiers but clinical experience gained benefited the local population. Financial problems that arose in some city hospitals during the war had a long lasting impact.
Sylvia Dunkley – Sheffield’s Women at Work in World War One
With increasing numbers of men joining the army or moving into munitions production, thousands of women were recruited into the wartime economy. In Sheffield they worked in many formerly male-dominated industries and service organisations – as tram conductors, postal worker, crane drivers, in munitions. Sylvia will tell their story.
John Cornwell – Sheffield City Battalion: The First and the Last
The Sheffield City Battalion (the 12th Bn York and Lancaster Regt.) was an unusual battalion of “pals” volunteers, made up of middle class professionals, as well as university staff and students, that was raised at the beginning of September 1914, and initially financed, by the City Council. Among the earliest volunteers were two Sheffield men from different backgrounds. Vivian Simpson was a 31 year old, Broomhill solicitor and a well known sportsman in the city (he was actually the first to sign on) and Reg Glenn, a junior clerk in the Education Department who came from Hillsborough. Vivian Simpson was commissioned in January 1915 and because he was a very efficient training officer did not go to France until July 1916.
Reg Glenn was a private, who was a signaller in the City Battalion, and he went overseas firstly to Egypt in January 1915, before serving for over two years on the Western Front and was present on the first day of the Battle of the Somme when the City Battalion was decimated. In 1917 he was recommended for a commission and after training at New College, Oxford, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieut. in the 8th Bn North Staffs Regt. On returning to France in May 1918 he was wounded on the Aisne on his first day back in action and invalided home.
After Vivian Simpson re-joined the City Battalion in France in July 1916 he became one of their most effective officers. By 1917 he was promoted to captain and served as a company commander for the rest of his time in France, winning the MC in 1917. He was killed in action in April 1918 during the German offensive on the French/Belgian border.
Reg did not return to France after his injury but served as a training officer based in Wallsend and later Scotland. He returned to his old job with the City Council and lived a very active life before dying in 1994 at the age of 101. He was the last survivor of the City Battalion volunteers.
Further details coming soon…