2874 COMMEMORATES FALLEN GWR EMPLOYEES
Centenarian engine dedicated to those who died in both world wars.
918-built ‘28XX’ No. 2874 is to be dedicated to the memory of Great Western Railway employees who died in the First and Second World Wars.
The Churchward 2-8-0, which is owned by the 2874 Trust and is in the early stages of restoration from Barry condition at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, will carry a plaque reading ‘19141918, 1939-1945, Dedicated to the
Men & Women of the
Great Western Railway who gave their lives in defence of our Country during two World Wars’.
Trust Secretary David Foster said: “Many notable events have been taking place throughout 2018 to commemorate the Armistice. Our locomotive came out of the GWR’s Swindon Works right at the end of the conflict, but played a full part throughout the Second World War. The 2874 Trust decided that a lasting tribute would be appropriate to the men and women of the GWR who gave their lives during the two wars and have commissioned a commemorative plaque to be permanently displayed on the locomotive once restoration is complete.” Asked where on the engine the plaque would be fitted, he said: “Initially, it will be on the cabside as we will be constructing that sooner to use as a showpiece at events. In the long term, we will see where will be the best spot for visibility and effect.”
The trust has drawn up a new agreement with Dinmore Manor Locomotive Ltd, which owned the engine until ownership was transferred to the trust in December 2016. Writing in the latest issue of the GWSR’s house magazine The Cornishman, trust member Leslie Sandham explains: “To ensure that No. 2874 is restored and has a sound future working on heritage railways, DMLL will provide much of the funding required from the revenue earnings of their two locomotives [No. 7820 Dinmore Manor, which is operational, and ‘2884’ No. 3850, which is under overhaul].
“Once restored, No. 2874 will be operated by DMLL in conjunction with their locomotives, utilising the earnings to fund their own overhauls. At the end of its boiler ticket, No. 2874 will be returned to us ‘in need of overhaul’ but in much better condition than it now is.
“This is very significant progress but must be regarded as only part of the solution; of equal importance are the funds which we must raise ourselves through membership of the trust and other activities.”
The group achieved its aim of recruiting over 100 members by the engine’s centenary month, with 121
members signed up by November.
‘28XX’ No. 2874 hauls a goods train through Ludlow on May 15 1956. Plaque inset.