Join Sheffield events to commemorate World War One centenary

Sheffielders have organised a whole host of events to mark the centenary of Armistice Day on Sunday, November 11.

A piper will play to mark the ceasing of gunfire at 6am outside Sheffield Cathedral.

The city’s main service of remembrance will be held at the Sheffield Cenotaph, Barker’s Pool with the South Yorkshire Police Band playing from 10.15am and the Queen’s Jubilee Beacon will be lit at the Peace Gardens at 7pm.

The York and Lancaster Regiment are remembered at a service held at the war memorial in Weston Park.

The service will be led by Canon Christopher Burke, Vice Dean and Canon Precentor at Sheffield Cathedral.

Those on parade will include 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment and Sheffield Universities Officers Training Corps, accompanied by the Band of the Yorkshire Volunteers in uniform.

The band plays outside the museum before marching on at 10.50 for the service. Those attending are asked to be present by 10.45.

The service is held in memory of more than 8,000 members of the York and Lancaster Regiment who died in World War One and more than 1,200 killed in World War Two.

It is attended by former members of the regiment, including the Hallamshires, as well as the Green Howards, Royal Military Police and many other ex-servicemen and women. The public are very welcome to attend.

Many other city churches and places of worship will be holding their own services.

An event at Sheffield City Hall called Sheffield’s Great War has been timed to begin following on from the Remembrance Day services.

A series of short talks by six local researchers, writers, academics, historians and enthusiasts will look at different aspects of Sheffield’s story during 1914-1918.

The event takes place at the Sheffield City Hall from noon, with all profits donated to the Royal British Legion.

Event curator Chris Corker said: “What a perfect opportunity this is for us, on the centenary of the end of the First World War, to look back at Sheffield’s fascinating involvement during the conflict.

“The event is perfect for all ages and levels of interest, and we are excited to be able to raise money for a great cause whilst reliving such an important part of all our history.”

Chris will be talking about Sheffield in each year of the war and the armaments industry in the area

John Cornwell’s talk will focus on the Sheffield City Battalion, and the first soldier to sign up to the regiment, through to the final combatant to die in 1994.

Sylvia Dunkley will be discussing their research into women’s work during the conflict, which expanded far beyond munitions work.

Chris Hobbs’ talk will be on the Zeppelin air raid of Monday, 25 September 1916, when the first Sheffield civilians died in the war.

Sarah Holland will be discussing their research on farm labourers in the Sheffield area, and the efforts to recruit a Land Army to replace men leaving farming jobs to become soldiers.

Mike Collins’ talk will explore Sheffield’s hospitals, which treated more than 70,000 injured soldiers.

Tickets are £7 plus booking fee. Full information can be found by visiting: www.sheffieldsgreatwar.co.uk.

Sheffield General Cemetery has a guided tour starting at the Cemetery Avenue gatehouse at 10.30am lasting about 45 minutes, including observing the two-minute silence at 11am.

The tour ends at the Samuel Worth Chapel, where there is an exhibition and cafe, open until 4pm.

The exhibition and an Avenue of Remembrance have been installed to commemorate the 130 victims of the war linked to the cemetery.

At Western Road, Crookes, 64 Lanterns honours the 64 fallen ex-pupils of Western Road (now Westways) School.

On Sunday 11 at 4.30pm there will be a procession of 64 homemade willow lanterns from Wesley Hall through Crookes to Western Road.

At 5pm, the procession down Western Road will form an 'avenue of lights' with lanterns held under the memorial trees planted on the road.

A short ceremony at the memorial plaque will follow, including the reading out of the soldiers’ names, some poems and a song.

Two weeks of events at St Nicholas’ Church, High Bradfield began on Friday.

At 5.15pm the church exterior was illuminated in breathtaking fashion, with eerie silhouettes of soldiers marching to their deaths.

A Parish Poppy sculpture made of spent ammunition shells also went on view for the first time, together with artwork from local schools, and the Bradfield parish magazines of 1918.

The Bishop of Sheffield is preaching at the Remembrance Sunday service, where ‘There But Not There’ ghost-like figures of Tommies made of see-through Perspex will sit among the congregation.

Actors from Stannington Players will play the roles of key soldiers from the parish.

An afternoon of music and memories takes place at Owlerton Memorial Hall, Forbes Road on Saturday.

It will be run by Christ Church in Walkley which has recently bought the building that was built as a war memorial.

There will be songs from the time, readings of war poetry, stories of local soldiers and reflections on being a Christian soldier, as well as a minute's silence, plus plenty of tea and cake. The free event will run from 3pm.

The organisers are keen to hear stories of local soldiers. Email info@christchurchwalkley.co.uk or phone 0114 233 1658.

Penistone Remembers is part of an international commemoration, Battle’s Over.

Visitors to St John the Baptist Church on Sunday 11 between 5pm and 7.30pm can experience the sounds of wartime Britain and find out about life in a trench.

They can listen to music and songs from the time, make a lantern to signify peace, dress up and have a photo taken or read letters from soldiers. Memorabilia will be on display, along with period refreshments.

At 6.55pm buglers will sound the Last Post and then at 7pm a beacon will be lit.

The church bells will be rung for peace at 7.05pm.

On Thursday November 8 at 5pm, a dance group will be taking part in national project Tull100, in memory of Walter Tull, a professional footballer and the first black infantry officer of black heritage in the British Army. He was killed in action in March 1918.

A group of contemporary ballet dancers, some with disabilities, will be screening a short movement film they made as part of the project at The Dance Studio, Seven Hills School, Granville Road.

Two members of the group are also special guests at the Remembrance Sunday thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey.

The church will be open from 9.30am to 2.30pm for viewing the commemorative windows and plaques situated around the building in tribute to parishioners who fell in the conflict.

Members of the church community have researched the lives of the soldiers and have found their addresses.

They have written to the current occupiers, inviting them to visit the church on the day and make a connection with the social history of their homes.

In the Peak District, Hathersage Armistice events and activities include a display in the new Village Centre featuring handmade poppies bearing the names of 101 villagers who died in the war, set in two trenches.

A plaque talks about the 608 who fought and survived.

On Saturday, November 10 a free exhibition opens at 10.30am with artefacts, images and documents reflecting local connections with the conflict.

At 7.30pm, Hathersage branch of the Royal British Legion are sponsoring two short one-act plays, At The Going Down of the Sun, in the War Memorial Hall. Tickets: www.tickettailor.com/events/hathersagerbl.

The service of remembrance will take place in the parish church at 10.30am on Sunday 11r, preceded by a parade from the Memorial Hall at 10am.

Afterwards, the exhibition will again be open in Stanage Hall and there is another performance of At the Going Down of the Sun at 7.30pm. Tickets: www.tickettailor.com/events/hathersagerbl.

Next weekend the gardens at Renishaw Hall will feature poetry displays which explore the impact that World War One had on the ‘Sitwell Trio’ family members.

Visitors can see how the poetry of Edith, Osbert, who fought in the war, and Sacheverell Sitwell was inspired by the gardens at Renishaw.

The Gothic Temple will feature a display of Osbert’s war poetry and that of more famous war poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, and explores their links with the family.

Christine Beevers, archivist at Renishaw Hall & Gardens and who is behind the Poppies and Poetrees event, explained the relationship between the Sitwell family and World War One.

“Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell’s experiences of the Great War had a tremendous emotional impact on their lives, with the loss of so many of their friends and particularly for Osbert Sitwell, who fought on the Western Front.

“Although the period of the First World War witnessed the end of a former way of life for the Trio, it also heralded the beginning of their literary careers and their future roles as leaders in the world of modern poetry.”