Sheffield Central Library commemorates Sheffield’s war history with new exhibition

This week, Sheffield Central Library is launching a new exhibition to celebrate the centenary of Armistice Day, which traces the history of Sheffield at war and commemorates all those who have been affected over the centuries. The exhibition is part of a series of free events titled Sheffield: War and Peace which has a huge scope, covering Sheffield’s war history as far back as Anglo-Saxon times, right up until the city’s most recent involvement in WW2.

Our top picks of the exhibition:

  • Battles that took place in the seventh century between paganism and Christianity, in which King Ecgbert conquered Northumberland and became an overlord of England in the year 829 at Dore, near the school which is now named after him.
  • Sheffield Castle, which was destroyed in battle in 1643. Much of the information on the castle comes from excavations which took place in the early 20th century whose results have never been studied or published.
  • Information on the Steel City’s involvement with WW1, from producing the first modern body armour and helmets, to becoming the armaments capital of the world.
  • Original paraphernalia from WW2, such as gas masks and helmets, as well as items on loan from people’s personal collections, including a Princess Mary gift box – sent to soldiers overseas from the Royal Family on Christmas 1914.

The fascinating information will be accompanied by images which document everyday life in the city, courtesy of Picture Sheffield, and objects from the City Archives and private collections. The exhibition and all related events are free but require booking online through the Sheffield Council website.

Councillor Mary Lea said: “Remembrance Sunday honours the dead of the first and second world wars, but Sheffield has seen conflict going back for centuries. This exhibition helps us to remember many people who’ve fought and died to make Sheffield the great place it is today – from the Chartists and the Trade Union movement to the young women working in the factories pushing for women’s votes. We have a fascinating history and it’s something to be proud of.”

For more information and to book event places visit

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