THE WAR YEARS
This page is under construction but will be a space for all things related to the area during WWI and WWII.
Soldiers' stories, the War Memorials, newspaper clippings and so on
World War One: 28th July 1914 - 11th November 1918
World War Two: 1st September 1939 - 1945
The exact date of the end of WWII is not universally agreed upon. It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the Armistice of 14 August 1945 (VJ Day), rather than with the formal surrender of Japan on 2 September 1945, which officially ended the war in Asia. VE day was the 8th May 1945.
VE - Victory in Europe. VJ - Victory in Japan.
Page under construction - I am currently working on the other war memorials and WW2 names
A WARTIME MISCELLANY
WHEN THEY DROPPED THE BOMBS.
This recording was sent to me by Julia Tomson, and it is part of a much longer recording that her son, Will, made of her mother Phyllis Crossland's reminiscences shortly before she died in 2010. Will and his friend Danni selected this section and put it to music.
Phyllis was the author of several books including Echoing Hills, Years of Grace and On Active Service.
When they Dropped the Bombs, the first night of the Sheffield Blitz, 12th December 1940
MESSERSCHMITT ON TOUR.
This downed German plane, a Messerschmitt 109, once made an appearance on land behind the Friendship. This old postcard shows the plane on view at Barker’s Pool in Sheffield, but there are still people who can remember it being displayed in Stocksbridge. It was shot down over the south of England in 1940 (apparently it didn’t have the range to fly as far north as Sheffield), and it was then put on tour around the country to raise funds. Money was collected from people who wanted to see it or sit in it. These photographs were taken in Barker's Pool, Sheffield.
BLITZED CHURCHES APPEAL.
An idea was put forward in 1940/41 that churches who had escaped the malice of enemy bombers should assist those who had not been so fortunate. The Congregational Union of England and Wales started a scheme to raise £500,000 for the reconstruction of churches that had been damaged or destroyed in air raids. The scheme was to extend over three years. I have no clue as to where this photograph was taken, but the reverse shows that the photographer was from Stocksbridge - Alec Scott of Cross Lane. This group of people were trying to raise £2,000. Fundraising went on for several years. I cannot find any reference to Stocksbridge, but one example was printed in the Burnley Express of 8th May 1946, which reported that the Wesley Drama Group presented two one-act plays in aid of the Blitzed Churches Appeal Fund.
This photograph comes from Julia Tomson, and it was among her father's aunt Fanny Crossland's papers when she died. Fanny died at New Houses, Greenmoor in 1965 at the age of 80. She had apparently lived in a "Victorian a bubble" and never married . She was a dressmaker when young and later worked at Clark's chemist shop in Penistone. Not a lot was known about this photograph, but I posted it on a specialist forum where some military experts could tell me more about it.
I was told that the men are wearing 1939 pattern boots:
From a specialist sales site: 1939 Pattern RAF Flying Boots: "These are perhaps the most scarce and desirable of all wartime boots. Introduced in 1939 as a leather saving option over the 1936 pattern, they were not successful operationally as moisture picked up on the ground was absorbed by the canvas and froze at altitude. Despite this they were favoured by fighter pilots and will remain synonymous with the Battle of Britain. This pair are an excellent example and while they are in issued condition, they clearly had a very easy war! The canvas leg section is very clean with only minor scuffing on the right boot. The leather uppers and soles are crisp. Inside the fur is good with only minor wear. The leather pull tags are in place and clearly marked with King's Crown, AM and the manufacturing contract number, indicating a production date of 1939."
The men are wearing 1930s Sidcot Flying Suits which were intended to be worn over normal uniform dress. The 1930 pattern Sidcot suit derived from earlier patterns used towards the end of the First World War and was to become an all-purpose flying garment used throughout the 1939-45 war. To provide added warmth alternative linings could be added by buttoning them in internally. Another version was the 1940 pattern, of similar cut, but made of olive gabardine, improved in 1942 (1941 pattern) by having electric wiring fitted to provided heated boots and gloves (but not the suit).