Sheffield’s Great War
Along with all our other Great War interest’s, perhaps this, the photographing and recording of inscriptions, is the most tangible part of what we do, a direct link to the men who died and their families that were left behind.
Sheffield’s cemeteries and churchyards are littered with headstones commemorating the city’s dead of not just the Great War, but other war’s she has sent her men to.
The families and indeed the Stonemasons carving the inscriptions, must have thought they were going to be there for ever. Alas, even as early as the Fifties, and again in the Eighties, headstones were removed en masse from many of Sheffield’s burial sites from a health and safety point of view that carries on to this day, with the removal and the laying down of ‘unsafe’ headstones.
The inscription’s we believe, are recorded in various archives, but we decided to record the headstones photographically as well. In all some 1,500 photographs. Miles and miles of walking! Five visits to City Road Cemetery, six visits to Burngreave! We didn’t have a plan, we just walked up and down every row until we came to a Great War inscription! But we loved every minute of it!
This is not a comprehensive collection of what is in our burial sites, there are still a few small sites to walk round and record, plus revisits to the ones we’ve already been round.
Walking around the cemeteries you get an understanding of how vital it is to record an image of the headstones, as some are in a very poor state of repair. Whole faces of some stones have sheared off completely, while others are on their way.
A familiar sight are the CWGC headstones, but other family graves/headstones are recognised by, and are in the care of, the CWGC.
On our travels we have come across Privates, Majors, Captains, Corporals, Zeppelin Raid victims, Lieutenants, Able Seamen etc, etc, also 16 year old John Edwin Scanlan, buried in Burngreave Cemetery. He was accidentally shot by a souvenir of the Great War in December 1919.
We would now like to thank Peter Bayliss for his input into this list of inscriptions, Peter covered Ecclesall All Saints and Fulwood burial sites on our behalf. Also to Hugh Waterhouse for sending us images of headstones we missed from Wardsend Cemetry. Thank you.
DEAN HILL / D.M. WHITTINGTON / STUART REEVES
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