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Second World War Gallery

Choose from 130 pictures in our Second World War collection for your Wall Art or Photo Gift. All professionally made for Quick Shipping.

SS St Julien at the Banana Dock in Dieppe c.1939 Featured Second World War Print

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 GWR's Weymouth route, which she did until requisitioned by the government on the 9th September 1939 to work as a troop ship. During the following month the steamer was sent to Southampton to be converted into Hospital Ship No. 29 and she began work ferrying casualties from France back to Britain, from where they would be taken by train to hospitals around the country. St Julien took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk, crossing the channel 6 times in an attempt to reach troops, where, despite being clearly identified as a hospital ship, she came under enemy fire. She survived Dunkirk and subsequent service as a hospital ship in the Mediterranean, and at the end of the war SS St Julien returned to operation on the Weymouth Service

© STEAM Museum of the GWR

SS St Julien as a hospital ship, at Newport Docks, c.1940 Featured Second World War Print

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. St Julien was one of 7 GWR ships that were requisitioned for war service in the early months of the war. The Company ships played a vital role in transporting troops, cargo and wounded soldiers across the English Channel. This was dangerous work for the ships and their crew, sailing over to occupied France, often under fire from enemy guns. The evacuation of Allied Troops from Dunkirk in 1940 was perhaps the most notable and dangerous missions carried out by these ships, as they were direct targets for Luftwaffe bombers as they sailed into French waters. Operation Dynamo, as the evacuation was known, was undertaken by a fleet of more than 800 boats and saved more than 338,000 soldiers from capture. Amazingly, no Great Western ships were lost during Operation Dynamo and the fleet continued with wartime operations on behalf of the Government

© STEAM Museum of the GWR

US 2-8-0 tender locomotive No. 1604 at Paddington Station, 1942 Featured Second World War Print

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 caused operational problems that threatened to affect the service the Company could offer to both the government and the general public. This was alleviated in part by borrowing locomotives from other British Railway Companies and also reinstating previously withdrawn engines back into service. In 1942 however, a number of American locomotives were shipped over to Britain to assist the domestic transport network. In a ceremony held at Paddington Station on the 11th December 1942, United States 2-8-0 tender locomotive No. 1604, pictured here adorned with the British and American flags, was formally handed over to Lord Leathers, Minister of War Transport, by Colonel N.A. Ryan, Chief of Transportation for the American Army, who stated that he hoped the locomotive "will do as good work for you as British Engines have done already for us"

© STEAM Museum of the GWR