Sheffield and the First World War

24th January 2014

19 February 2014 – 1 March 2015

Flag Day Pins

A new exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War is set to open at Weston Park in February 2014. Sheffield & the First World War will explore the impact of the devastating global conflict on the city and its effect on the lives of those living in the region.

Sheffield & the First World War will draw on the first hand experiences of Sheffield’s people, both at home and on military service, and tell their stories through objects and documents from the city’s collections. From poignant personal possessions, to mementoes brought back to Sheffield from the front, the exhibition will illustrate the very local and personal impact of the war to end all wars.

  • Sheffield was significantly affected by the Great War; a Zeppelin raid in September 1916 killed 28 people in their homes, food and clothing were in limited supply and the city’s hospitals faced a continuous influx of wounded soldiers returning from the front. Throughout this difficult time the people of Sheffield remained resilient and made important contributions to the war effort; the exhibition will explore the major role the city played in munitions production and how local people worked to raise funds to support their troops in Europe.

    Sheffield & the First World War will chronicle the stories of the city’s soldiers, from training at Redmires Camp to serving on the front line with the Sheffield City Battalion, the Royal Navy, Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force. The exhibition will also offer an insight into the lives of local men interred in Prisoner of War camps, as well as those of the German soldiers who were imprisoned in Sheffield.

  • The exhibition will explore the legacy of the First World War for Sheffield and its people, and how the terrible loss of life has been remembered in the city. Visitors will also discover the story of the pioneering Painted Fabrics Company, established after the war to provide work for injured soldiers, and the strong links the city formed with the French town of Bapaume, part of which was rebuilt thanks to the generosity of the people of Sheffield.

    Sheffield & the First World War will bring together 150 objects from the city’s collections, alongside a host of family mementoes and historical artefacts kindly lent by the people of Sheffield and organisations across the region. Included in the displays will be ration books and registration cards, a nurses uniform from Wharncliffe War Hospital, photographs and artwork depicting workers in Sheffield’s munitions factories and an example of one of the thousands of steel helmets made in the city. Visitors will also see a typical soldier’s uniform and rifle, medals awarded for service and bravery, and keepsakes created and bought by soldiers at the front and sent home to loved ones in Sheffield.

  • The exhibition will also showcase a new animation project, created in partnership with students from Sheffield Hallam University and Springs Academy and inspired by wartime journals and correspondences, along with a range of contemporary British Pathe films.

    Clara Morgan, Curator of Social History at Museums Sheffield, said: ‘The First World War affected millions around the globe and had a huge impact on the city. As we commemorate the centenary of this tragic loss of life, it’s fitting that we share these remarkable stories of the people of Sheffield and their role in the war effort.’

    Sheffield & the First World War opens at Weston Park on Wednesday 19 February and continues until 1 March 2015 – entry to the exhibition is free.

Museums Sheffield
Weston Park
Western Bank
S10 2TP

Museums Sheffield: Weston Park is open Monday – Friday 10am–4pm, Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 11am–4pm (open until 5pm Monday – Friday from 31 March 2014)

Free Entry
0114 278 2600

Twitter: @museumsheffield