World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Introduction 

The intention of this site's creator is, for many years into the future, to provide a 'not for profit' aid to schools, historians and individuals who simply have an interest in WW2.

In 2005, Several volunteers all over Britain gave up their time, working via CSV  (Community Service Volunteers) to compile a nationwide database of World War 2 stories as submitted by the members of the general public, who were involved in the conflict in one way or another. These are direct "from the horse's mouth" stories, totally uncensored.  As the project was managed in conjunction with the BBC, the stories have been submitted to  a BBC website:

 

One might find the BBC site complicated and difficult to navigate, therefore this site has been created to contain  the stories that were gathered by the Sheffield team and will therefore be easier to access. The stories are uploaded onto this site in Word format and are filed in accordance with the genres as classified in the page navigation.

 

"I am speaking to you from the Cabinet rooms of 10 Downing Street. This morning, the British Ambassador in Berlin, handed the German Government a final note, stating that unless we heard from them by 11 o’clock, that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently, this country is at war with Germany." 


Neville Chamberlain - 3rd September 1939

 

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. 

  Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn them. 

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

we will remember them.

For our tomorrow, they gave their today.

 

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Holocaust Memorial Day - January

27th  - click for page

 

As the site has grown (is growing), supplementary information pages have been added to expand the genus and to encompass a wide spectrum of WW2 information. In consequence, the site has developed into a virtual encyclopaedia of WW2. The People's War stories are listed in the upper segments of the navigation (above) and the more general content lives in the remaining area. For the maximum expediency, it has become necessary for an index page to be provided. This will appear shortly.

The information has been gathered from various sources and packaged 'under one roof' for the ease and convenience of readers/researchers.

Where possible, the source of the information has been mentioned.


 The People's War stories are listed in the upper segments of the navigation (above) and the more general content lives in the remaining area. For the maximum expediency, it has become necessary for an index page to be provided. This will appear shortly.

 

 Memorial erected in Whitehall, 

                                                                                                    London in 2005. Photo by Bill Ross

Letty Thornoton
of Wombwell, Barnsley
(Junior Air Corps)
Mary Cooper of
Hemingfield, Barnsley
(Women's Land Army)

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It's quite easy to gain impressions of the austere conditions that were endured by those on the front line, from Blockbuster movies that were made after the war. In such movies, we’ll see American troops struggling to cross the world’s cruellest jungle in Burma. We’ll see some of the brutality dispensed by the Japanese and Germans. We’ll see the soldiers in the jungle warming up some baked beans on a stove using a saucepan. What we will not see is the fact that in many cases, there were no baked beans, no saucepans and no stoves or open fires. What some of the stories on this site will reveal is how, in order to continue to live, the men had to kill rats to eat, and to swill it down, they had to squeeze the juice from blades of grass.

We’ll also learn of how there were no washing facilities, neither for bodies nor clothes. In sweltering 100 plus degree heat and extreme humidity, clothes would remain on the same bodies for many months, eventually becoming brittle due to the sweat and other bodily fluids. Eventually, the clothing would just flake away. This is the reality of World War 2 that comes directly from those who endured it.

The stories and images in the WW2 People's War archive have been contributed by the public and copyright rests with the authors, although by registering on the site they have also given the BBC a non-exclusive right to sublicense and use this content. The content may be used under

'fair dealing' terms - eg as part of a non-commercial project such as this website, or an educational or research venture, but acknowledgement of the derivation and copyright holder of the content should be included wherever possible.

 

Photo above, taken on Victoria Embankment. Statue of Churchill (below) on Parliament Square, both by Bill Ross  


"We shall never surrender." - click for speeches page

Year of the Volunteer Medal winners

The Award Presentation at Sheffield Town Hall, 10th of November, 2005. Left to right are: Margaret Walker (BBC), Andy kershaw (BBC), Roger Marsh (Story Editor - Award Recipient), Roger Davison - The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Jo Thomas (Volunteer Co-ordinator) and Bill Ross (Story Editor - Award Recipient). 

Sheffield Star - 22nd November 2005

 

Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery 

         Statue in Whitehall - Photo by Bill Ross

 

The stories and images in the WW2 People's War archive have been contributed by the public and copyright rests with the authors, although by registering on the site they have also given the BBC a non-exclusive right to sublicense and use this content. The content may be used under 'fair dealing' terms - eg as part of a non-commercial project such as this website, or an educational or research venture, but acknowledgment of the derivation and copyright holder of the content should be included wherever possible.