Sheffield Assay Office honours Women of Steel

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The Sheffield Assay Office has created more than 400 commemorative medallions to honour the women who worked to keep the munitions factories and steelworks running and helped win two World Wars.

The Women of Steel campaign was launched by the Sheffield Star in 2008 to recognise the bravery and hard work of the women who were conscripted from all over South Yorkshire.

The campaign has been led by four women – Kathleen Roberts, Kit Sollitt, Ruby Gascoigne and Dorothy Slingsby – who were each presented with a hallmarked, solid-silver medallion, by the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Andrew Coombe.

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A further 400 silver-plated medallions have been created and were presented by Assay Master, Ashley Carson, to the surviving Women of Steel or their families.

Carson comments: “Each medallion is a thank you to Kathleen, Kit, Ruby, and Dorothy and all of the women who worked so bravely during World War I and II. I’m very proud that the Assay Office could play a part in this well-deserved recognition.

“It has been an honour to present these medallions today and I’ve very much enjoyed meeting the inspirational women and their families.”

The presentation took place following the unveiling of the Women of Steel Statue in Barkers Pool – the statue upon which the design of the medals has been based.

Key fundraiser, John Palmer, hosted the ceremony, with contributions by Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore, interviews with some of the Women of Steel, war time songs and hits by local music legends.

Following the statue unveiling and medallion presentations, the women and their relatives attended a celebratory lunch in the City Hall Ballroom.

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