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World War 2 Collection

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: SS St Julien as a hospital ship, at Newport Docks, c. 1940

SS St Julien as a hospital ship, at Newport Docks, c. 1940
This image shows SS St Julien at Newport Docks following her conversion into a hospital ship, as denoted by the red cross painted on the side of her hull

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: LMS coach no. 6204 converted to an ambulance train car, 1939

LMS coach no. 6204 converted to an ambulance train car, 1939
This official photograph of an ambulance train car was taken on behalf of the Swindon Works Drawing Office in October 1939

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: A man and woman carrying out work on a steam hammer during WW2, 1942

A man and woman carrying out work on a steam hammer during WW2, 1942
A man and woman carrying out work on a steam hammer during WW2 in the GWR Swindon Works, 1942. The man is wearing a blacksmiths apron

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Swindon Works War Work, 22nd January 1942

Swindon Works War Work, 22nd January 1942
Female worker machining a 25 PDR shell on 22 January 1942. Munitions work issued by Ministry of Supply

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Evacuees at Paddington Station in 1939

Evacuees at Paddington Station in 1939
This moving image of evacuees making their way along platform 4 at Paddington Station was also taken during the 4 day evacuation of London and other major cities in September 1939

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Child evacuees on Maidenhead station, 1939

Child evacuees on Maidenhead station, 1939
An image of a group of child evacuees from the East End of London on Maidenhead station in Berkshire in 1939

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Bomb damage to locomotives at Newton Abbot Station, 1940

Bomb damage to locomotives at Newton Abbot Station, 1940
On 20th August 1940 Newton Abbot Station was attacked by three German planes. This image shows the devastation that was caused by both bomb damage and extensive machine gun fire

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Mogul locomotive No. 8314 with bomb damage in 1941

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

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: GWR fire brigade at Paddington Station taking part in a drill, c. 1940

GWR fire brigade at Paddington Station taking part in a drill, c. 1940
This image shows members of the GWR fire brigade at Paddington Station taking part in a drill. Training was an important part of fire fighting and kept employees prepared in case of an emergency

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Bomb Damage at Royal Oak near Paddington c. 1940

Bomb Damage at Royal Oak near Paddington c. 1940
Bomb damage to stations was inevitable after the sustained air attacks by the German Luftwaffe in late 1940 and early 1941

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Women workers in the Permanent Way Dept at Reading, 1943

Women workers in the Permanent Way Dept at Reading, 1943
Three ladies from the Permanent Way Department are pictured here at Reading in April 1943 off-loading wooden blocks from a wagon

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Workers riveting a locomotive boiler in V Boiler Shop c. 1942

Workers riveting a locomotive boiler in V Boiler Shop c. 1942
In this image taken at Swindon Works sometime during the latter half of the war, three women are shown working on the riveting of a locomotive boiler in V Boiler Shop

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: USA S160 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1606 coupled to an ambulance train, 1942

USA S160 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1606 coupled to an ambulance train, 1942
Once the USA joined the war following the bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941 the GWR became involved in the provision of rolling stock for use by the American Army

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Tanks being loaded onto Rectank flat wagons, c. 1940

Tanks being loaded onto Rectank flat wagons, c. 1940
Three tanks are being loaded onto Rectank flat wagons which were designed and built specifically for the movement of military vehicles by rail

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Siphon G Wagon converted to ward car No. 3209 in 1943

Siphon G Wagon converted to ward car No. 3209 in 1943
By the spring of 1940 Britains railway companies had supplied 25 ambulance trains for use both at home and abroad. In September 1942 the government ordered a further 27 ambulance trains

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Evacuees waiting outside the departure platform at Paddington in 1939

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

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Bomb damage to Paddington Station in 1941

Bomb damage to Paddington Station in 1941
A view of the departure side of Paddington Station following the explosion of a parachute mine on 17th April 1941. A gaping hole can be seen to the right of the image where the station offices were

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: GWR Wartime Emergency Headquarters in Berkshire, 1940

GWR Wartime Emergency Headquarters in Berkshire, 1940
A busy office scene pictured here in 1940. This office was part of the GWRs Emergency Headquarters located at Aldermaston, Berkshire

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Matilda II tanks under construction at Swindon Work in 1941

Matilda II tanks under construction at Swindon Work in 1941
In September 1941, three Matilda II tanks were photographed leaving AE shop on Rectank wagons. The tanks are incomplete and are presumably ready to be transported elsewhere for final assembly

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: GWR staff loading a stretcher into a parcel van which has been converted into an ambulance, 1940

GWR staff loading a stretcher into a parcel van which has been converted into an ambulance, 1940. The van bears the GWR roundel branding and a stylised poster on the side

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Goods vehicle converted into an ambulance ward car, c. 1940

Goods vehicle converted into an ambulance ward car, c. 1940
This photograph shows an interior view of a goods vehicle that has been converted into an ambulance ward car. The basic slatted bunks held up by chains look to offer little in the way of comfort

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Women employee in the Road Motor Department at Slough, 1944

Women employee in the Road Motor Department at Slough, 1944
The Road Motor Department at Slough was another area that saw the employment of women in traditionally male roles. This photograph was taken on April 18th 1944

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Swindon Works employees manouvering a wheel set by crane, c. 1940

Swindon Works employees manouvering a wheel set by crane, c. 1940
In this photograph a female crane operator is working alongside two male colleagues, manoeuvring a locomotive wheel set into place

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Bomb damage to Bowden Hall locomotive at Keyham Station, 1941

Bomb damage to Bowden Hall locomotive at Keyham Station, 1941
This image was taken on 30th April 1941, the morning after an air raid at Keyham Station, Plymouth. It shows extensive damage to Hall Class locomotive, Bowden Hall

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: US 2-8-0 tender locomotive No. 1604 at Paddington Station, 1942

US 2-8-0 tender locomotive No. 1604 at Paddington Station, 1942
On December 11th 1942, for the very first time, an American built locomotive steamed into Paddington Station. Acute shortages of locomotives on the GW network due to locomotives being sent overseas

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Iron Mink Wagon converted into a salvage van, c. 1940

Iron Mink Wagon converted into a salvage van, c. 1940
This special salvage van was converted from an iron mink wagon. It was used to collect scrap from principal stations on the GWRs network

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: GWR station staff member in a gas mask, c. 1939

GWR station staff member in a gas mask, c. 1939
During an air raid the threat of poison gas bombs being dropped by the German Luftwaffe was extremely high. Mustard gas was the most deadly gas available and could take up to 12 hours to take effect

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Australian Navy on locomotive No. 6021 King Richard II, 1945

Australian Navy on locomotive No. 6021 King Richard II, 1945
A group of visitors from the Australian Navy pose for this photograph on top of locomotive No.6021 King Richard II. The officers

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: U.s locomotive No. 1604 at Swindon Works in December 1942

U.s locomotive No. 1604 at Swindon Works in December 1942
U.S locomotive, No. 1604 is photographed here at Swindon Works in December 1942. Many of the American engines that were shipped to Britain were actually on their way to service on the continent

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Female employees at Swindon Works making lamps, c. 1940

Female employees at Swindon Works making lamps, c. 1940
A larger group of female employees have been photographed here engaged in the making of lamps at Swindon Works. The tin lamp bodies

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: U. S. 0-6-0T shunting tank engine No. 1940 in its black War Department livery, 1942

U. S. 0-6-0T shunting tank engine No. 1940 in its black War Department livery, 1942
This is an unusual inclusion in the photographic collection at STEAM, being an image of a U.S. 0-6-0T shunting tank engine which never actually worked the Great Western network

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: American S160 Class 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1609 upon arrival at Newport Docks, 1942

American S160 Class 2-8-0 locomotive No. 1609 upon arrival at Newport Docks, 1942
From late 1942 American locomotives began to arrive at the Great Westerns South Wales Docks, having been shipped over from America to assist allied forces both in Britain and on the Continent

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Carriage No. 4329 from US General Dwight D. Eisenhowers Alive train in 1942

Carriage No. 4329 from US General Dwight D. Eisenhowers Alive train in 1942
One of the most important areas in which the GWR was asked to support both the war effort and the US army was in the provision of what was codenamed the Alive train which was to be used by the US

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Presentation of a War Savings League Cup to members at Swindon Works, 1944

Presentation of a War Savings League Cup to members at Swindon Works, 1944
This photograph was taken on 20th April 1944 and shows Chief Mechanical Engineer, F.W. Hawksworth, presenting a War Savings League Cup to members at Swindon Works

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: A 16 inch gun barrel loaded onto an eighteen wheel gun wagon in 1942

A 16 inch gun barrel loaded onto an eighteen wheel gun wagon in 1942
This photograph, taken at Old Oak Common on the 10th April 1942, shows a 16 inch gun barrel that has been loaded onto an eighteen wheel gun wagon ready for delivery

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Brake Third coach No. 3307 converted into a mobile cleansing unit, 1941

Brake Third coach No. 3307 converted into a mobile cleansing unit, 1941
The fear of gas attack was of paramount concern during World War II, as demonstrated by the mass issuing of gas masks prior to the outbreak of war in 1939

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: GWR lorry delivering paintings from the National Gallery to a slate mine in Wales in 1940

GWR lorry delivering paintings from the National Gallery to a slate mine in Wales in 1940
This photograph of a GWR lorry was taken around 1940. It shows the in delivery of historic and valuable paintings from the National Gallery in London to the disused Manod slate mine at Blaenau

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: 16 inch naval gun loaded on a set of four POLLEN E wagons, 1944

16 inch naval gun loaded on a set of four POLLEN E wagons, 1944
This image shows a 16 inch naval gun being carried on a set of four POLLEN E wagons in March 1944. Built in the early 1900s

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Military tanks loaded onto Crocodile G wagons, c. 1939

Military tanks loaded onto Crocodile G wagons, c. 1939
A train load of military tanks, loaded onto Crocodile G wagons, make their way through Acton, en-route to the Channel Ports, for shipment over seas

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: A Sea Hurricane being loaded onto an armed merchant ship at Cardiff docks, c. 1941

A Sea Hurricane being loaded onto an armed merchant ship at Cardiff docks, c. 1941
As well as assisting in the transportation of military goods by rail the GWR also facilitated the war effort at their docks

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: 0-6-0 Dean Goods locomotives No s. 2479, 2576, 2425 and 2399 in the process of being scrapped, c

0-6-0 Dean Goods locomotives No s. 2479, 2576, 2425 and 2399 in the process of being scrapped, c. 1949
The sorry sight of four The sorry sight of four 0-6-0 Dean Goods locomotives, photographed in the late 1940 s, in the process of being scrapped. Identified as engine No s

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: 2-8-0 locomotives under construction in AE shop, 1943

2-8-0 locomotives under construction in AE shop, 1943
In this image, War Department 2-8-0 locomotives are shown under construction in AE shop at Swindon Works in May 1943. In order to meet the demand for locomotives for war work

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Great Western Tender, No. W84, formerly No. 2641, 1941

Great Western Tender, No. W84, formerly No. 2641, 1941
Great Western Tender, No. W84 is featured in this official image taken in April 1941. Formerly No. 2641, this 4000 gallon engine tender was requisitioned by the Government for use with a fire

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Dean Goods locomotive No. 2533 in War Department black livery

Dean Goods locomotive No. 2533 in War Department black livery
This official photograph of a Dean Goods locomotive No. 2533 was taken at Swindon Works in October 1939 prior to its shipment overseas

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Swindon Home Guard manning an anti-aircraft gun platform, c. 1940

Swindon Home Guard manning an anti-aircraft gun platform, c. 1940
Swindon Works was considered a prime target for aircraft strikes during World War II. Here, two members of the Home Guard are manning an anti-aircraft gun platform situated on the roof of uniform

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Van loaded with waste paper from the General Stores at Swindon Works, 1941

Van loaded with waste paper from the General Stores at Swindon Works, 1941
Paper salvage was introduced by the Government at the outbreak of war in 1939. It was designed to encourage the recycling of materials to aid the war effort

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Bomb damage to No. 24 shop at Swindon Works in 1942

Bomb damage to No. 24 shop at Swindon Works in 1942
Swindon Works should have been a prime target for the German Luftwaffe, but the Works remained relatively unscathed from any air raids on the town

Background imageWorld War 2 Collection: Air raid damage to goods wagons at Newton Abbot Station in 1940

Air raid damage to goods wagons at Newton Abbot Station in 1940
On 20th August 1940 Newton Abbot Station was attacked by three German planes. This images shows the devastation that was caused by both bomb damage and extensive machine gun fire



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