This film is part of Free

Sheffield Peace March

Sheffield Peace March

As the rise of fascism casts a shadow over Europe, the people of Sheffield take to the streets to deliver a powerful message.

Non-Fiction 1936 7 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive

Overview

At a time of widespread concern over the political landscape of Europe, marches take place in Sheffield with a clear message for Government: “no more war”. Gathering in the neo-classical shadow of the City Hall, groups including Ecclesall Women’s Labour Party, Co-operative Youth and the Woodcraft Folk wave banners bearing slogans such as “Construction Not Destruction” and “Peace For All”. Intercut shots of cannons, flames, and a skull in the dirt lend an air of menace.

Sheffield has long been known for its strong Labour movement and this film, made by Sheffield and District Workers Film Society, shows the strength of anti-war sentiment in the city. Especially noticeable is the large number of women involved, including local councillors Mrs Cummings and Mrs Birch, who give what look to be rousing speeches in Endcliffe Park. Just two months after the film was made, the Spanish Civil War began: Sheffield contributed a number of volunteers to the International Brigade, who opposed Spain’s fascist leader General Franco. Within 18 months the rate of German rearmament passed that of Britain and France – a second world war was becoming ever more probable.