THE railway industry is preparing to honour all those railwaymen who lost their lives in the First World War at a special service in London next month. The service will be held at Southwark Cathedral on 6 November at 15.00, and is supported by Network Rail, the Rail Delivery Group, Transport for London, the Railway Industry Association, Irish Rail, Translink, RMT, ASLEF, TSSA and other industry organisations.
At least 18,957 railwaymen gave their lives fighting the 1914-18 war. The timing of the service in November, to which all railway people are invited, marks the 100th anniversary of a service which was held at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1919. This was attended by King George V and commemorated the fallen from the railway industry.
Guests on the day will include Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines and chairman St Peter Hendy, and many of the members of the congregation are expected to wear their railway uniforms.
Sir Peter Hendy said: ‘Over 100 years on from the end of World War 1, this memorial service is an opportunity for the rail industry to come together and remember the hundreds of thousands of railway workers who served their country, over 18,957 of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. I look forward to paying my respects to those workers, whose contribution during the war will never be forgotten.’
Railway Industry Association chief executive Darren Caplan said: ‘The Railway Industry Association is honoured to be working with organisations across the rail industry to remember railway workers who served in World War 1. Their sacrifice allows us to have the freedoms we take for granted today,’ while TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes added: ‘Twenty thousand railway workers lost their lives in the First World War, many of them members of our union, the Railway Clerks Association, which is now TSSA. We will never forget the suffering that they and their families went through. At a time when our country has just finished commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War, I am glad that we can also take time to remember and mark the lives of those railway workers who died in this conflict. Their memory lives on.’
NOTE.—The event will be ticket-only, and a poster with more details can be downloaded here. Please print this poster for notice boards if you can. More information about the service is available from rwcms.co.uk or telephone 01772 767724.