The history and commemoration of the Second World War air raids on Sheffield
The Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail has received £81,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to commemorate the 75th anniversary of a defining moment in the city’s history.
The Sheffield Blitz killed and wounded over 2,000 people in December 1940 and made nearly a tenth of the city’s population homeless.
The devastating Luftwaffe attacks changed the face of Sheffield forever and flattened much of the city centre.
Thanks to National Lottery players a Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail will be created to form the centre-piece of the two-and-a-half year Heritage Lottery Funded project with up to 16 sites around the city centre ear-marked for the installation of high quality, permanent memorial plaques.
The site of the original Marples Hotel in Fitzalan Square which was totally destroyed on December 12, 1940, will finally get a memorial befitting a war grave and be a key part of the trail.
Other sites include Sheffield City Hall which still bears shrapnel scars and The Moor which was virtually flatted in the attacks.
The plaques will become part of the street furniture of Sheffield for generations to come and a major tourism pull. Indeed a delegation of German military were the first people to walk the proposed route just a few weeks ago.
Author Neil Anderson started the drive for more to commemorate the attacks following the publication of his ‘Sheffield’s Date With Hitler’ book about the Blitz in 2010.
He teamed up with project manager Richard Godley and heritage interpreter Bill Bevan to submit the Heritage Lottery Fund bid.
Neil Anderson said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for the city of Sheffield. It will finally allow the sacrifices made by tens of thousands of people in the face of the devastating attacks to get the recognition they deserve.”
Explaining the importance of the HLF support, the Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in Yorkshire and the Humber, Fiona Spiers, said: “The Second World War changed communities forever, not just due to the loss of life felt by both the Military and civilians, but also due to the huge impact it had on our towns and cities. Communities were physically changed forever due to the devastating effects of the Blitz. This important project will document and commemorate these sacrifices, enabling communities to gain a deeper understanding of the far reaching impacts of the conflict.”
The award will also fund a major commemoration event to take place on the anniversary weekend of the attacks – December 12th/13th 2015.
Notes to editors
About Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail
The project has already received donations from Peter Stringfellow, Horrible Histories’ creator Terry Deary, The Moor, Atkinsons and scores of individuals.
It also has the backing of Sheffield City Council, The Star, Sheffield College, The National Emergency Services Museum, Sheffield 50 Plus, Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust and South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum.
The Sheffield Blitz 75th project is set to last over two years and will end on the anniversary of the last German raids on Sheffield in July 1942.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Heritage Lottery Fund – Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. http://www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery @HLFYandH
For further information, images and interviews, please contact
Neil Anderson at the Sheffield Blitz Memorial Fund on 0777 929 2212.