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New exhibition commemorates history of Sheffield at war

A new exhibition commemorating the city’s history of conflict opens this week at Sheffield Central Library.

The exhibition spans the Anglo-Saxon era to the air raids of the Sheffield Blitz and is part of a series of free events which tie in with council activities inspired by the centenary of Armistice Day.

It explores Anglo Saxon, King Ecgbert’s campaign to conquer Northumberland and become an overlord of England – which he did in 829 at Dore, near the school that now bears his name.

It also includes information about the founding and destruction of Sheffield Castle and how a Zeppelin raid during WWI destroyed 80 homes and killed 29 people.

Visitors will also have the chance to see historical items including English Civil War pamphlets, WW2 gas mask, a soldier’s helmet and information on how Sheffield produced the first modern body armour and helmets, campaigned for by Arthur Conan Doyle after being appalled by the loss of life during conflicts at Ypres.

On loan to the exhibition too are items from local people’s personal collections, including a Princess Mary box; a gift sent by the Royal Family at Christmas 1914 to 355,000 soldiers overseas, and tea cups made and used on the frontline out of spent shell cases.

During WWI Sheffield became the armaments capital of the world and this is explored in more detail by local Historian Dr. Chris Corker in his free event on Tuesday 4 December.
Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for Culture, Parks and Leisure said:

“Remembrance Sunday honours the dead of the first and second world wars, but Sheffield has seen conflict going back for centuries. This exhibition helps us to remember many people who’ve fought and died to make Sheffield the great place it is today - from the Chartists and the Trade Union movement to the young women working in the factories pushing for women’s votes. We have a fascinating history and it’s something to be proud of.”

The exhibition includes images from Picture Sheffield, the city’s collection of 100,000 images recording all aspects of life in the city, alongside fascinating objects from the City Archives and private collections. The exhibition, which runs until the end of January, and the events running alongside it are free and all are welcome to attend. For more information and to book event places (booking is essential), visit: