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National Railway Museum

Turntable Poppy Display Marks End of WWI Centenary

The National Railway Museum in York is marking the centenary of the end of the First World War with a display of poppies on the museum’s turntable.

The project with All Saints Church, Pavement in York will see 10,000 handmade poppies displayed on a locomotive which was used to transport soldiers during the First World War.

The poppies were handmade by volunteers and the congregation of All Saints, before being displayed outside the church to mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on 11 November.

Following this installation, the poppies were transported to the National Railway Museum where members of staff attached them to SE & CR Class D locomotive no. 737 which was placed at the centre of the Great Hall’s turntable.

As well as poppies, the museum display will include more than 300 photographs of railway workers who died during the conflict. These are taken from the museum’s Fallen Railwaymen database which records the 20,000 railway workers who were killed in service during the Great War.

Charlotte Kingston, Head of Interpretation and Design at the National Railway Museum said:

“This year as we mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, it is important that we remember those who gave their lives serving in our armed forces.

“The railways were of great importance to the war effort bringing munitions and injured servicemen to and from the front lines and sadly more than 20,000 railway workers died across every profession connected to the railways from firemen to porters and office workers. With this display we will tell the stories of those who died as well as honouring their memory.”

The poppies are on display now and will be at the museum until the end of November.  

The Fallen Railwaymen database has been compiled by the National Railway Museum’s archive team and a group of dedicated volunteers over the last ten years and it records the important contribution of railwaymen during the war.  

The database is free to access on the dedicated Fallen Railwaymen website: https://firstworldwar.nrm.org.uk/fallen-railwaymen/. It was created from several sources including the North Eastern Railway’s roll of honour which documents over 200 railwaymen from York who died during the conflict.

Ends

For more information, please contact:

Simon Baylis, PR & Communications Manager
01904 686 299
simon.baylis@railwaymuseum.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors

  • The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and attracts more than 750,000 visitors per year
  • The collection includes over 260 locomotives and rolling stock, 600 coins and medals as well as railway uniform and costume, equipment, documents, records, artwork and photographs
  • The National Railway Museum forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and Locomotion in Shildon
  • Admission to the National Railway Museum is free, for more information visit: www.railwaymuseum.org.uk