Just after 11 o’clock on the 4th of May 1982 an Exocet missile fired from an Argentine aircraft hit HMS Sheffield and her fate was sealed, she sank from her damage on the 10th May, while on tow to safety. With a loss of 20 lives, the sinking of the Sheffield had for many people brought the Falklands conflict into reality.
Launched on 10th June 1971, D80 was a Type 42 Destroyer and the second holder of the name HMS Sheffield. The first HMS Sheffield, a Town Class Cruiser, saw active and distinguished service in World War 2 and it was a Royal Navy experiment with this ship that led to the ships nickname ‘Shiny Sheff’ and a cementing of its links with the ‘Steel City’. Rather than the usual brass, her fittings were made from Stainless Steel to see if it reduced the amount of cleaning time needed by her crew. Even the ships bell was stainless steel and made at Hadfields of Sheffield. The bell can now be seen in Sheffield Cathedral.
A third HMS Sheffield entered service in 1988. A Type 42 destroyer, she originally was to be called Bruiser, but the name was changed in honour of the previous HMS Sheffield. She was sold to the Chilean navy in 2002 and it is items from this ship that are to be sold at Sheffield Auction Gallery in their prestigious Militaria Auction on 16th August.
The 3rd HMS Sheffield had close affinity with her predecessor and carried with her a large scale model of D80. This superb model, which is housed in a glass case was built by A.B Smith and C. M. Dove and measuring over 1.3 metres in length stood outside the Petty Officers Mess on D96, even being repaired after it was knocked to the floor in a storm.
“The quality and finish of the model is to a very high standard, as you would expect from an item associated with the Royal Navy and is probably unique” commented the Auction Gallery’s Specialist Valuer, John Morgan and carrying a guide price of £600 – £1,000 it is likely to create a lot of interest.
The model is only one part of a number of items from the third HMS Sheffield, others include the bell from the Chief Petty Officers Mess, bell plans, a large collection of photographs of the ship and her crew, memorabilia including a cased ‘Yard Of Ale’, and the blue ‘Shiny Sheff’ flag which she flew whenever returning to Hull on her home visits to ‘Sheffield’.
For further information on this and other Sales, please contact the Auction Gallery on 0114 281 6161
Article Published – June 2013