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Mogul locomotive No. 8314 with bomb damage in 1941
A 4300 Mogul locomotive, No. 8314, lies amongst the debris following an air raid in Weymouth on 17th January 1941. Star Class locomotive, Princess Charlotte, can be seen to the right of the photograph and has escaped the worst of the damage. The south coast of Britain was easy prey for the German Luftwaffe based in Northern France, and the ports of Weymouth and Portland were prime targets for bombers due to their naval connections.
Swindon Town Station
Swindon Town Station was on the Midland and South Western Junction Railway in Swindon's Old Town area. The impressive main offices of the railway company can be seen in the centre of this image. The station was in operation for only 85 years after facing increasing competition from the town's GWR station and as the focus of the town moved away from the Old Town area to Swindon's ænew town' which had developed around the GWR station and railway works.
Evacuees waiting outside the departure platform at Paddington in 1939
One of the very first war time roles that the GWR was engaged in was the evacuation of children from cities to the relative safety of the countryside. Even before war was declared, plans were drawn up for evacuation so the GWR and the other major railway companies were prepared and on standby to put these plans into action. On August 31st 1939, the day before Germany invaded Poland, the order to begin the evacuation was given. The very next day the mass movement of children began and continued until September 4th. The GWR was responsible for the majority of the children moved from North and East London and while most of the evacuation trains departed from Ealing Broadway, this image shows groups of children being off-loaded from a double decker bus outside the Departure Platform at Paddington Station during the four days of evacuation in September 1939.