Marking the occasion will be somewhat different this year due to obvious circumstances. If you so wish, wear a poppy with pride today, but please pause respectfully for two minutes at 11 am this Remembrance Sunday and for Armistice Day on Wednesday remembering all those, both service and civilian personnel whom have given their lives for the freedom that we all enjoy today, and should you feel so inclined, especially in these times, support the sterling work of the Royal British Legion.
Marking 102 years since the end of the ‘Great War’, unfortunately not the war to end all wars, and although this post is mainly written to commemorate this especially poignant anniversary it is also dedicated to all Railway companies across the country and indeed the world that 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.
When You Go Home,
Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow,
We Gave Our Today
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.
This year also marks 100 years since the body of the British Unknown Warrior arrived at London Victoria station after being transported by ship and train from the fields of France, on 10th November 1020, and lay overnight at Platform 8 before internment at Westminster Abbey the following day on Armistice Day.
Inscribed on James Scott’s Victory Arch, at Waterloo station: “Dedicated to the employees of the Company who fell in the war.” and the names of those London and South Western employees who gave their life are honoured within the arch.
And just to end this post, as written by Paul Hunter – 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.