Air raid sirens sound out in Sheffield to mark 80 years since outbreak of Second World War
Air raid sirens sounded out in Sheffield city centre as former service personnel gathered to mark 80 years since the outbreak of the Second World War.
Members of the Sheffield and District Joint Council for Ex-Service Associations gathered in Barker’s Pool for a ceremony yesterday.
Crowds paused to mark the event and as the clock at Sheffield Town Hall chimed to mark 11am, air raid sirens sounded out in the city centre.
Pat Davey, chairman of the group, said: “It went very well. We had a large number of people there and we had three Normandy veterans there too.
“We sounded the air raid siren as the clock chimed to mark 11am and there were actually people there who will have been children when the war broke out.
“There were some who were crying, which was strange to see, but it was such a big risk as to whether the war was going to be a success or not.”
The start of the Second World War is generally held to be September 1, 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland, with the UK and France delaring war on Germany two days later.
At 11.15am on the morning of September 3, 1939, the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, announced in a radio broadcast to the nation that the British deadline for the withdrawal of German troops from Poland had expired.
He said the British ambassador to Berlin had handed a final note to the German government stipulating that unless it announced plans to withdraw from Poland by 11am, a state of war would exist between the two countries.
Chamberlain continued: “I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and consequently this country is at war with Germany.”
Part of his speech was played in Barker’s Pool on Tuesday.
The exact date of the war’s end is also not universally agreed upon. It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of August 14, 1945 – V-J Day – rather than the formal surrender of Japan, which was on September 2, 1945 that officially ended the war in Asia.