If you so wish, wear your poppy with pride today, pause respectfully for two minutes at 11 am this Armistice Day morning and again tomorrow on Remembrance Sunday, remembering all those, both service personnel and civilian whom have given their lives for the freedom that we all enjoy today, and should you feel so inclined, support the sterling work of the Royal British Legion.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Locomotive 333 was built originally by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, designed by Billinton, as an L class 4-6-4 ‘Baltic’ tank. She was given the name Remembrance and became the companies War Memorial engine and carried a plaque with the inscription:
“In grateful remembrance of the 532 men of the L.B.& S.C.Rly. who gave their lives for their country, 1914-1919″
In 1934, under the auspices of Maunsell they were rebuilt as Class N15x (an appropriate Brighton-style suffix) 4-6-0s, and fitted with standard Urie LSWR tenders along with smoke deflectors. Now number 2333 ‘Remembrance’ retained its name, plaque and status within the Southern Railway.
As I am this weekend exhibiting Fisherton Sarum at the Hampton Court MRS, Tolworth Showtrain at the Tolworth Recreation Centre, Fullers Way North, Tolworth, Surrey, KT6 7LQ my model (albeit currently a static one) of 2333 ‘Remembrance’ is taking pride of place on the very front road of the shed by way of a mark of respect.
Railway companies across the country and indeed the world lost many staff; not only those drafted into the military services, but also those lost whom continued their duties on the railways keeping the networks up and running, we should honour and remember them all.
Inscribed on James Scott’s Victory Arch, at Waterloo station: “Dedicated to the employees of the Company who fell in the war.”
And just to end this post – the poppy is more than a one time of a year symbol:
I am not a badge of honour, I am not a racist smear,
I am not a fashion statement, to be worn but once a year,
I am not glorification of conflict or of war.
I am not a paper ornament a token,
I am more.
I am a loving memory, Of a father or a son,
a permanent reminder of each and every one.
I’m paper or enamel, I’m old or shining new,
I’m a way of saying thank you, To every one of you.
I am a simple poppy, a reminder to you all,
That courage faith and honour,
will stand where heroes of all kinds fall.