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11 Nov 2011 86 views
 
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photoblog image Railways at War

Railways at War

 

Since their innovation railways have provided a vital part of the war effort. During the first World War railwaymen served behind the front line building and operating railways on behalf of the War Department. In the UK they were responsible for the carrying of many thousands of troops and war materials.

 

During the Second World War the railways operated continuously for both the conflict and the years afterwards, literally being run into the ground. After the D-Day invasions the railways of Europe were operated by railwaymen of many nations, again carrying goods and troops to the front line. After the war they were heavily involved in the repatriation of troops, prisoners of war and civilians.

 

Many railwaymen died during the conflicts and they are often forgotten when Rememberance Day comes around. I suspect many of todays youth do not realise just how much the railways contributed to the two World Wars and the toll taken by them.


As well as civilian railwaymen the Corps of Royal Engineers had military railwaymen in their ranks and 354 died during World War 2. To commemorate their death on of the Severn Valley's steam locomotives, the Stanier 8f 48773, has been formally designated a War Memorial.



Railways at War

 

Since their innovation railways have provided a vital part of the war effort. During the first World War railwaymen served behind the front line building and operating railways on behalf of the War Department. In the UK they were responsible for the carrying of many thousands of troops and war materials.

 

During the Second World War the railways operated continuously for both the conflict and the years afterwards, literally being run into the ground. After the D-Day invasions the railways of Europe were operated by railwaymen of many nations, again carrying goods and troops to the front line. After the war they were heavily involved in the repatriation of troops, prisoners of war and civilians.

 

Many railwaymen died during the conflicts and they are often forgotten when Rememberance Day comes around. I suspect many of todays youth do not realise just how much the railways contributed to the two World Wars and the toll taken by them.


As well as civilian railwaymen the Corps of Royal Engineers had military railwaymen in their ranks and 354 died during World War 2. To commemorate their death on of the Severn Valley's steam locomotives, the Stanier 8f 48773, has been formally designated a War Memorial.



comments (7)

I'd not considered this Les. A fitting tribute.
Les Auld: Thanks you Jose, appreciate the comment.
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 11 Nov 2011, 04:53
Good tribute to them Les
Les Auld: Thanks you Vintage, appreciate the comment.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 11 Nov 2011, 07:36
Very fitting Les: the railways were vital for the transport of people & goods in wartime
Les Auld: Indeed so Chris, thanks for the comment.
There was a really good program on one of the million channels about the railwaymen in WW2. They were very brave men and very much unsung heroes
Les Auld: The programme I know about was by Dan Snow, very interesting indeed. Thanks for the comment Bill.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 11 Nov 2011, 10:12
Yes, the "railways at War" - that is a very, very sad theme, and in Germany they were carring millions of Jews and other persecuted persons to the Concentration Camps... - one of the most terrible, saddest 'chapter' of the WWII. Two years ago there was an important wandering exhibition by the Deutsche Bahn about the railway deportations during the WWII (and as helper I could take part in this exhibition in my home town). I thank you for this very touching photo!
In the former camp Westerbork in Netherlands parts of ending railways has been installed to commemorate the train deportations combinde here now with fields of red poppies.
Les Auld: It is a very sobering thought when you do consider the ways in railways were used Philine, the infamous Death Railway in Burma also comes to mind where many thousands of people died during its construction.

Thanks for the comment.
A very fitting tribute Les.
Les Auld: I thought so Frank, thanks for the comment.
A very good tribute image in all ways Les, and so true.
Les Auld: Thanks you Brian, appreciate the comment.

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camera Canon EOS 50D
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focal length 70.0mm
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