A series of Sheffield events will mark the 100th year since the end of the First World War.

On Sunday 11 November, commemorations to mark the end of the First World War will begin with three pipers playing outside of Sheffield Cathedral at 6am, and will continue with a special service to mark the national day of remembrance at the cenotaph in Barkers Pool.

The service will commence with the South Yorkshire Police Band playing from 10.15am until 10.45am, culminating with The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Magid Magid, leading a procession from the City Hall at 10.50am.

The exhortation will be read by Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Curphey of the 212 (Yorkshire) Field Hospital and ex-service personnel together with representatives of uniformed organisations in the city will be on parade.

The Lord Mayor, Lord-Lieutenant, Leader of the Council, Master Cutler and representatives of the services and ex-services, as well as other organisations on parade, will lay wreaths on the war memorial.

The service will be an opportunity to pay respect to those that that served in the First World War. They include Sheffield Pals who lost their lives during the first day of the Battle Of The Somme in 1916.

Pals Battalions began to be formed in August 1914. Following the outbreak of the First World War. Pals were usually recruited from a local area and were nicknamed because Lord Kitchener believed more men would enlist if they could serve alongside their, friends, relatives or work mates.

Sheffield Pals comprised mainly of businessmen, clerics, journalists, school teachers and students from across the city. They were called the “coffee and bun boys” by the Barnsley Pals because of their middle-class backgrounds.

Recruitment took place in September at Sheffield’s Town Hall and about 1,000 men signed up within two days.

The Sheffield Pals became part of The York and Lancaster Regiment as the 12th (Service) Battalion. The Hallamshire Battalion and the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry also included Sheffield men. A copy of the Order of Service can be downloaded here: www.sheffield.gov.uk/100years.

At 7pm in the evening 1000 beacon lights will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the UK Overseas Territories – a century after the guns fell silent. Sheffield’s beacon will be hosted in the Peace Gardens.

Sunday will also be the final day of the World War I commemoration which has been on display in Weston Park, which is designated as a Fields in Trust Centenary Field, since September. The commemoration is a  “Thank You” to those who fought and fell in the First World War, including hundreds of Sheffield PALS. Fields in Trust will reveal the story of one Centenary Field each day in an online interactive map. The site can be accessed here and people can use the hashtags #CFLegacy #ThankYou100 to support online.

Memorial Tree events

Also culminating on Remembrance Day is the planting of 100 trees in park sites across the city dedicated to soldiers who fought in the First World War. The first was planted in Weston Park by veteran soldiers of the Second World War. Following that, one large English oak tree will be established in 31 city and district parks while avenues of smaller lime trees are to be placed in Longley Park, Firth Park, Greenhill Park, Herdings Park and the Cholera Monument. Each of the planting locations is marked with a stone plinth and plaque.

Soldiers from World War 2 planting the first tree in Weston Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ending of WWI.

Dedication events will be held for each of the avenues on the following dates:

  • Firth Park – Sunday 4 November 2018 at 11am
  • Cholera Monument – Tuesday 6 November at 11am
  • Herdings Park – Thursday 8 November at 11am
  • Greenhill Park – Saturday 10 November at 11am

The council has also announced that it will retain 20 out of 23 trees on Western Road which were planted at the end of the First World War. Read our statement here.

Councillor Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, and Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, will lead the events, alongside local councillors, MPs, friends groups, schools and representatives from local armed forces cadets.

Sheffield War and Peace

Sheffield Libraries are holding events until December revealing fascinating stories from Sheffield’s rich and complex history – from early Anglo-Saxons to the defense of Sheffield Castle and from Waterloo to rebuilding after the Sheffield Blitz. The Central Library Reading Room will also be displaying objects, photographs and documents from their collections not usually available to view. All events are FREE but, unless otherwise stated, should be booked in advance.

Film: The Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tank

As part of the centenary of the Armistice which ended the First World War, the Imperial War Museum has restored the original 1917 documentary film ‘The Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks.’ This film will be screened in Diamond Building Lecture Theatre 1 at the University of Sheffield on Friday 23rd November 2018 at 6.30pm.

There But Not There

There But Not There aims to place a representative figure for as many as possible of the names on local war memorials, around the country, into their place of worship, their school, their workplace or wherever their absence was keenly felt. These transparent statues will be back within their communities for Remembrance 2018, the centenary commemoration of the end of the 1914-1918 First World War.

National Festival Orchestra’s ‘Lest we forget’ centenary concert

 To mark the centenary of the First World War, one of Sheffield Bach Choir’s performances this year with the National Festival Orchestra is ‘Lest we forget’. It takes place Saturday 17 November at Sheffield Cathedral from 7.30pm and with music by Jenkins, Blatchly and Elgar.

‘My Brother Dan’ – a modern and moving tribute

Molly Meleady-Hanley
One of the winners in the 2017-18 Poetry and Art Competition (14-16 year category) Molly Meleady-Hanley.

Local student Molly Meleady-Hanley wrote the poem entitled ‘My Brother Dan’ in commemoration of the Sheffield Pals. It was a winner in the 2017-18 Poetry and Art Competition (14-16 year category). Never Such Innocence is an organisation that aims to engage children and young people across the world with the centenary of the First World War through poetry, art and song.

For a full list of activities and events planned to mark the First World War centenary, please visit: www.sheffield.gov.uk/100years