Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail to honour victims

Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail: Author Neil Anderson, left, with Nicholas Atkinson outside Atkinsons store - where the first plaque will be installed.

Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail: Author Neil Anderson, left, with Nicholas Atkinson outside Atkinsons store - where the first plaque will be installed.

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A SHEFFIELD Blitz walk is being created with the backing of The Star as a permanent educational resource and memorial to the victims of the Nazi bombing raids.

But we want you to tell us which landmarks should be highlighted with plaques and if you have a blitz story we can record.

Sheffield blitz: Atkinsons store before it was destroyed in the bombing raids.

Sheffield blitz: Atkinsons store before it was destroyed in the bombing raids.

Adolf Hitler’s Luftwaffe devastated Sheffield but failed to break the spirit of its people.

The city endured nine hours of intense bombing during Operation Crucible on Sunday, December 12, 1940. The Moor was one of the worst-hit areas with department stores Atkinsons, Redgates and Roberts Brothers all destroyed.

It was followed by further bombing raids three days later and altogether 2,000 people were killed or wounded, with 40,000 left homeless.

A Sheffield Blitz Memorial Fund has now been launched to remember the sacrifices and its first aim is to create the walk, to be called the Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail.

Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail: Author Neil Anderson, left, with Nicholas Atkinson outside Atkinsons store - where the first plaque will be installed.

Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail: Author Neil Anderson, left, with Nicholas Atkinson outside Atkinsons store - where the first plaque will be installed.

Future plans include an audio tour, featuring historians and people who lived through the blitz telling their stories.

It is being spearheaded by Neil Anderson, author of Sheffield’s Date With Hitler, along with Mike Wild, founder of Sheffield Wildlife Trust and co-founder of the Five Weirs Walk.

Ten sites have already been proposed for the trail and the first plaque will be on the side of Atkinsons store at The Moor’s Sheffield Blitz event on Sunday, December 11.

Jointly funded by Atkinsons and The Moor Retailers’ Association in partnership with The Star and Brassfounders, the plaque will be unveiled by Horrible Histories series creator Terry Deary, who fronted BBC1’s Sheffield The Forgotten Blitz documentary and wrote Turn Out The Light, a novel set during the Sheffield blitz.

All profits from a King Mojo night with Peter Stringfellow, Frank White, Dave Berry and others, at The Leadmill on Wednesday, November 23, are for the fund.

Neil said: “Plaques will mark war graves and help to educate people about the impact of the blitz, what the city and its people went through.”

n Donations can be made to the Sheffield Blitz Memorial Fund via Nat West account no 52118665 and sort code 54-41-47. Cheques made out to the Sheffield Blitz Memorial Fund should be sent c/o ACM Retro, The Grange, Church Street, Dronfield, Sheffield S18 1QB.

n Which sites should have a plaque and why? Also let us know if you lived through the blitz and have a story we can record. Email you full name, age and contact details, with Sheffield Blitz Trail in the subject field to staronline@sheffieldnewspapers.co.uk or post to Sheffield Blitz Trail, Digital Editor, The Star, York Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 1PU.

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