As early as 1911/12, when Britain was involved in an arms race with Germany to build more ships, Sheffield approached the Admiralty in relation to naming a ship after the city.
However, it wasn’t until 1936 that the first HMS Sheffield was launched. Unlike other ships its fittings were made of stainless steel rather than brass (which required less cleaning). Hence the ship became known as the Shiny Sheff.
The ship’s crest and motto are based on those of the city. The crossed arrows on the crest represent Sheffield’s long association with armaments production.
The City of Sheffield presented the ship with a number of items. The bell was cast by Hadfields and the engraving and embossing was undertaken by James Dixon and Son. Walker and Hall Ltd presented Old Sheffield Plate wine coasters and the Cutlers Company provided silver cigar boxes.
The first HMS Sheffield - a Town Class Cruiser - saw service in World War II. It was later decommissioned and scrapped in 1967.
HMS Sheffield II - a Type 42 Guided Missile Destroyer - was launched in 1971. It saw active service in the Falklands War of 1982 where it was badly damaged and eventually sunk. There is a memorial on the Falklands Islands to the men who lost their lives.
HMS Sheffield III - a Type 22 frigate - was launched in 1986. It was sold to the Chilean Navy in 2003.
The document below lists the main sources at Sheffield Archives & Local Studies which can be used to investigate the history of HMS Sheffield.