Decorated GWR train honours sacrifice of its workers
The name of a Great Western Railway worker from Plymouth who died in World War One will be one of thousands to feature on a special remembrance train today.
William Hannaford is among the names of 2,545 men inscribed on an inter-city express train decorated to mark 100 years since the end of the Great War.
The Roll of Honour features details of where each man worked for the company, their rank, regiment, where they were killed and where they are either remembered or buried.
From the 2,545 names, 100 feature in more detail on the train, including pictures and background stories.
William Hannaford worked in Plymouth as a rail motor conductor and was a sergeant in the 5th Devonshire Regiment. He was killed in 1917 – the day before his brother Albert was also killed.
He has no known grave and is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial.
Also among the names is Harry Western, who worked at Exeter and was killed at the Battle of Arras.
Both of the men’s greatnieces welcomed the train to Paddington and then attended a remembrance service.
GWR deputy MD Matthew Golton said: “The role of the railway in helping mobilise the country and sustain the war effort was immense. Over 25,000 employees of GWR volunteered. It is therefore fitting that as we remember all who took part in this terrible conflict, we honour those of the GWR who fell.”
Among many other men named on the train are Flight Sub Lieutenant Harold Day, DSC, the only railway man to become a flying ace, and Lance Corporal Allan Leonard Lewis, VC, whose name has historically been omitted from the GWR Roll of Honour.