To the UK folks in general...and the Sheffield folks specifically

JimWhite

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To set this up I’ll say that my family has basically lived in and around Newark, DE for upwards of 75 years or so.

With that said, about 40 or so years ago a gentleman by the name of Bill Brierley was Chief of Police in Newark. He was also president of the International Chiefs of Police and as such had arranged a conference here in Newark. During preparations for the event he asked each delegation to send their country’s flag prior to arrival so he could have them displayed. Each group provided their flag in a 4ft x 6ft size except for the British who sent a 5ft x 9ft foot flag. This played a little havoc with Bill’s venue planning arrangements but he was finally able to display all the flags prior to the delegations arriving.

As it turned out the British flag had flown over the HMS Sheffield before she was sunk in the Falklands War.

When the conference was over each delegation took their flag home with them except for the British. The reason that has always been given is the delegate had discovered American supermarkets and filled all their empty luggage space with groceries, most of which were Duncan Hines cake mixes and Hershey bars.

So as it turned out the flag was left with Bill, although he thought someday they would come back or he would go to England as he travelled a lot back then but neither ever happened. But as Bill aged he became more and more anxious to return the flag so it wouldn’t be discarded by his family upon his eventual demise.

Well Bill knew that my mom and a handful of other dedicated individuals are the caretakers of Pencader Heritage Museum here in Newark, DE. So a couple of years ago Bill approached them about the flag and the staff worked to arrange a repatriation ceremony at the museum. It was here where the flag was handed over to a Royal Marine representing the British embassy in Washington DC. The officer promised to see that it was returned to Sheffield, UK, the city for which the HMS Sheffield was named.

Now fast forward to last week when my Mom (87-years-young BTW) and 2 other ladies from the museum accompanied Bill on a week-long trip to the UK. They all went there at the invitation of the HMS Sheffield Association to take part in the unveiling of this flag in the Sheffield Cathedral where it will join others flags, some of which are hundreds of years old.

Here is where I want to give a shout out to the folks over in the UK. My Mom and her friends were overwhelmed with their reception by the folks in Sheffield, UK. They were treated to free hotel rooms, most of their meals and a short trip to London for a special presentation, The Ceremony of the Keys, at the Tower of London. Mom was most appreciative of the generosity, warmth and humor shown by everyone they met, and most importantly by the overwhelming gratitude shown by the local folks of Sheffield.

The local paper even covered the event.

https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/people/hms-sheffield-s-flag-rededicated-to-city-after-years-in-america-1-9751753

So again...thanks to all the good folks across the pond that made my Mom's trip very fun and memorable for her...:)
 

Vinnie

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Good to know. I'm not Sheffield based myself but have friends there. I'm going yo send this to them.
 
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