Sheffield Council respond over ‘disgraceful’ D-Day Union flag omission

Sheffield City Council faced criticism for not flying a Union flag on the city’s war memorial to mark D-Day.

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 7:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th June 2019, 8:28 pm

The Barker’s Pool memorial flagpole was throughout the day – while nationwide commemorations were held to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The massive invasion of Allied troops on the beaches of Northern France on June 6, 1944 was a vital turning point in World War Two, leading ultimately to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

But while the Town Hall was flying a Union flag, the memorial in Barker’s Pool is empty – and the decision was met with angry critcism.

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The war memorial in Barker's Pool - minus a Union flag.
The war memorial in Barker's Pool - minus a Union flag.

Peter Hulbert wrote on Twitter: “I have just written a letter of complaint to the Sheffield City Council to point out that our cenotaph is not flying the flag on this great day.

“I sent the complaint and received a reply saying ‘thank you for your valued input to which we will duly attempt to respond within 28 working days."

Sheffield Council said the union flag was only flown at the Barkers Pool site when a ceremonial service was held and added it had worked with the Normandy Veterans' group to organise a service in Weston Park yesterday morning.

Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure at Sheffield Council, said: “It was an honour and privilege to be a part of the 75th Anniversary ceremony this morning at Weston Park. We have been working with the Normandy Veterans since last year to create a peaceful place of remembrance and as the memorial tree continues to grow and flourish, so will the memory of our fallen service man and women who fought so bravely for our freedom.

“We have also been working closely with the Sheffield Normandy Veterans to invite veterans from across the North of England who will gather for a full service and flyover in Sheffield on Saturday 15 June, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.”

Graham Askham, secretary of the Normandy Veterans Sheffield and District, said: “I had never considered it to be honest but yes, it would have been a good idea [to have a flag in Barkers Pool] but it doesn’t concern me.

“Normally we do have a D -ay memorial at Barkers Pool but this morning we have had a really nice ceremony at Weston Park and that will be the focus from now on.

“Now you have mentioned it may be a question we put to the council when we organise for next year but it doesn’t worry me it has not flown this year.”

Mr Askham added the group were delighted that the memorial bench, stone and tree had been installed.

He added: “I cannot thank Sheffield City Council enough for their dedication, patience and thoughtful consideration of our requests.”