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The Railway at War Collection (#2)

The GWR during the First and Second World Wars

78 Items

Background imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War Collection: US soldiers embarking a ship in a GWR South Wales Dock, 1942

US soldiers embarking a ship in a GWR South Wales Dock, 1942
The GWR docks in South Wales became busy points for the arrival and departure of US troops from mid 1942 when the first American ship to arrive at the Companys docks berthed at Swansea on the 18th

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: American Flag flying from Paddington Station hotel on July 4th 1941

American Flag flying from Paddington Station hotel on July 4th 1941
This image shows the American Flag flying from the front of the hotel at Paddington Station on July 4th, American Independence Day, 1941

Background imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War Collection: Chevrolet Thornton military trucks lined up at Caerphilly Works, 1941

Chevrolet Thornton military trucks lined up at Caerphilly Works, 1941
This image taken in April 1941 shows five Chevrolet Thornton military trucks lined up outside the GWRs works at Caerphilly. These trucks were imported from the USA and arrived unassembled in crates

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Railway carriage converted to an ambulance ward car, c1939

Railway carriage converted to an ambulance ward car, c1939
This internal view of an ambulance ward car gives a clear image of both the ingenuity used in converting rolling stock for medical use, but also the cramped conditions endured within these vehicles

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: A corridor brake composite carriage converted into a rail mobile emergency canteen, 1941

A corridor brake composite carriage converted into a rail mobile emergency canteen, 1941
In November 1941 this 56 feet corridor brake composite carriage was converted at Swindon Works into a rail mobile emergency canteen

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: A paper recycling cart outside the General Stores at Swindon Works, 1941

A paper recycling cart outside the General Stores at Swindon Works, 1941
A paper recycling cart outside the General Stores at Swindon Works in 1941. Bound bundles of paperwork and ledgers can be seen piled on the cart ready to be taken away to be pulped

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Bomb damage to the GWRs salvage warehouse in London, 1940

Bomb damage to the GWRs salvage warehouse in London, 1940
In a cruel twist of fate, this image from the 15th November 1940 shows bomb damage to the GWRs salvage warehouse at Park Royal in north-west London

Background imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War Collection: The 13th Battalion Home Guard at a rifle shoot at Liddington, c. 1942

The 13th Battalion Home Guard at a rifle shoot at Liddington, c. 1942
The 13th Battalion Home Guard at a rifle shoot on the chalk ridge at Liddington, near Swindon. The Home Guard evolved to be a well-equipped trained army and would partake in numerous drills

Background imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War Collection: GWRs Home Guard battalions on parade at Castle Bar Park in London, c. 1940

GWRs Home Guard battalions on parade at Castle Bar Park in London, c. 1940
The Home Guard was originally known as the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV). The LDV was formed in May 1940, but in August 1940 the LDV changed its name to the Home Guard

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Standing down parade of 13th Battalion Home Guard, Swindon Works, 1944

Standing down parade of 13th Battalion Home Guard, Swindon Works, 1944
By the end of 1944 the threat of invasion from Germany became unlikely and it was decided that the Home Guard could be stood down

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Presentation of the Wiltshire Home Guard in 1944

Presentation of the Wiltshire Home Guard in 1944
This photograph shows the presentation of an award to Home Guard member Mr C Wheeler in April 1944. He was a member of the 13th Battalion of the Wiltshire Home Guard which was formed in 1943 to

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Saint Class locomotive, 2947 Madresfield Court with gun fire damage, c. 1940

Saint Class locomotive, 2947 Madresfield Court with gun fire damage, c. 1940
This photograph of Saint Class locomotive, Madresfield Court, shows damage to the cab after it came under aircraft machine gun fire at Yarnbrook, near Westbury

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Air raid damage to the gas holder at Swindon Works, 1942

Air raid damage to the gas holder at Swindon Works, 1942
Swindon Works following the air raid on 27th July 1942. The gas holder at the gas works is pock-marked by machine gun fire from a lone aircraft that had swooped over the town early in the morning

Background imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War Collection: Air raid shelter at West Ealing Goods Yard, 1940

Air raid shelter at West Ealing Goods Yard, 1940
A rather intriguing photo here of West Ealing Goods Yard, taken in 1940. The strange molehill shaped mounds dotted along the track are air raid shelters

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Anti-aircraft platform at Swindon Station c. 1940

Anti-aircraft platform at Swindon Station c. 1940
An anti-aircraft platform can be seen in this image of Swindon Station, but what is most intriguing is the very small Swindon Junction sign hanging in the centre of the platform canopy

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Wartime shells being packed up in 24F shop, ready for transportation in 1942

Wartime shells being packed up in 24F shop, ready for transportation in 1942
By 1943 the majority of Allied munitions production was undertaken by America and Canada. This eased the pressure on British workshops as there had become a serious shortage of materials

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Tanks under construction in A Erecting Shop, Swindon Works. 1941

Tanks under construction in A Erecting Shop, Swindon Works. 1941
One of the earliest tasks contracted to the GWR by the Ministry of Supply was the erection of tanks for supply overseas. Thousands of tank components were being made by all the British railway

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: No. 24F shop, Swindon Works, undergoing war time alterations in 1941

No. 24F shop, Swindon Works, undergoing war time alterations in 1941
This image, taken in September 1941, shows the alterations taking place in 24F Shop to accommodate the new shell production for the Ministry of Supply

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Production line for wartime shells in No. 24 Shop, Swindon Works, 1942

Production line for wartime shells in No. 24 Shop, Swindon Works, 1942
No.24 Shop, on the Carriage and Wagon side of Swindon Works was fitted out with two production lines for 25-pounder shells

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: 6in. naval guns on display on Macaw B wagons at Swindon Works, c. 1915

6in. naval guns on display on Macaw B wagons at Swindon Works, c. 1915
6in. naval guns on display on Macaw B wagons at Swindon Works. The guns were sent in from elsewhere, but the manufacture of 40 large field carriages upon which the guns were mounted was a specialist

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Norton Fitzwarren train crash, 1940

Norton Fitzwarren train crash, 1940
On the night of November 4th 1940 locomotive No. 6028 King George VI left Paddington Station hauling thirteen coaches heading for Penzance

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Norton Fitzwarren train crash in 1940

Norton Fitzwarren train crash in 1940
On the night of November 4th 1940 locomotive No. 6028 King George VI left Paddington Station hauling thirteen coaches heading for Penzance

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Dean Goods locomotive No. 2533 in War Department livery, 1939

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

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Passengers at Paddington Station in 1943

Passengers at Paddington Station in 1943
A busy view of Paddington Station from August Bank Holiday 1943. The scene looks relatively dark, with only a few beams of sunlight coming through the roof

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: GWR Salvage Corps leaflet, 1940

GWR Salvage Corps leaflet, 1940
During the war the GWR were committed to salvaging paper and other material. In August 1940 General Manager, James Milne, invited employees to join the GWR Salvage Corp

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Two little girls awaiting evacuation from Paddington Station, September 1939

Two little girls awaiting evacuation from Paddington Station, September 1939
Part of the evacuation of London during WW2

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Locomotive driver in air raid kit, during WWII

Locomotive driver in air raid kit, during WWII
Locomotive no. 5085 Evesham Abbey with a locomotive driver on the footplate wearing a gas mask during WWII

Background imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War Collection: Highland Band at Paddington Station, 1915

Highland Band at Paddington Station, 1915
First contingent of GWR Regimental company of Railway Troops R.E headed by a Highland Band, June 18th 1915

Background imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War Collection: Mess room of No. 16 Ambulance train, March 1915

Mess room of No. 16 Ambulance train, March 1915
No.16 Ambulance train was built at Swindon Works in 1915 and was paid for by the United Kingdom Flour Millers Association. It was equipped with patient beds, a pharmacy and treatment rooms

Background imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War Collection: SS St Julien at the Banana Dock in Dieppe c. 1939

SS St Julien at the Banana Dock in Dieppe c. 1939
SS St Julien is pictured here at the Banana Dock in Dieppe during her service as a hospital ship. St Julien was built in 1925 as a vessel to serve the GWRs Weymouth route

Background imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War 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 imageThe Railway at War Collection: No. 16 ambulance train ward carriage, April 1915

No. 16 ambulance train ward carriage, April 1915
Built at Swindon Works in 1915 and paid for by the United Kingdom Flour Millers Association. The ward carriages had a three tier folding bunk system that allowed patients to be either sat up or lying

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: SS Africa at Tilbury Docks, September 1915

SS Africa at Tilbury Docks, September 1915
A British cargo ship used to transport GWR built ambulance carriages to France during WW1. It was sunk on 16th September 1915 by a German mine off the coast of Kent

Background imageThe Railway at War Collection: Loading Churchill Tanks at Marlborough High Level Station, 1942

Loading Churchill Tanks at Marlborough High Level Station, 1942
Taken from the January 1943 edition of the GWR Magazine

Background imageThe Railway at War 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



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