GWR honours WW1 fallen workers with specially commissioned Armistice train

Great Western Railway marked 100 years since the end of the Great War with a special ceremony to commemorate the 2,545 railway workers who were lost in battle.

The centrepiece of the ceremony at Paddington Station on Friday 9 November was the unveiling of a special Intercity Express Train featuring the names of all 2,545 men who worked for the GWR and were killed during the war.

Those being remembered worked in all areas of the company; engineers, labourers, solicitors, carriage cleaners and apprentices from across the GWR network which at the time stretched from Paddington to Penzance, and as far north as Liverpool, Manchester, Chester, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

The train was welcomed into Platform 1 at 10.30 by the Wessex Male Voice Choir before a short ceremony which included family members of those being remembered.

After the ceremony, the train entered passenger service as the 11.36 from Paddington to Cheltenham Spa.

To recognise the dedication and number of lives lost, the full train was given a distinctive design, stretching along all nine carriages and including the driving cabs at either end. It included details of where each fallen employee worked for the company, their rank, regiment, where they were killed and where they are either remembered or buried.

One hundred names were chosen to feature pictures and more details of their story.

The train was also be named after two men, Flight Sub-Lieutenant Harold Day, D.S.C. and Lance-Corporal Allan Leonard Lewis, V.C.

In addition a newly commissioned Roll of Honour marking the names of the 2,545 was unveiled in a permanent location at the station.