Civils and stations

08.11.19

100 years after first memorial service, South Western Railway worker pays respect to his great-grandfather

Team member at Putney station, Matthew Philips, has a special connection to the railway. His great-grandfather worked on the same rail route, which was then called the London and South Western Railway, over a century ago as a parcel porter in Southampton.

Arthur (second from left in photo) is remembered on the Great War memorial, as AJJ Wilkins, by the Victory Gate stairs, at Waterloo station. In 1916 at the age of 19 he volunteered to join the Hampshire Regiment. After getting injured at Passchendaele, he returned home to recover before returning again in France with the 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry.

Sadly, after signing up to fight on the Western front during World War One, Arthur Wilkins was killed in action at the young age of 21, on the 15th of April 1918. Leaving behind his wife and daughter, Matthew’s grandmother.

Arthur’s regiment played a vital part of a wider effort in deterring the final effort by the German army across France and Belgium at La Bassee Canal.

Matthew was invited to represent SWR at the Centenary Memorial Service, at Southwark Cathedral on Wednesday (Nov 6th), honouring those who lost their lives during world wars. He will also lay a wreath at the Victory Arch memorial on Armistice Day, alongside SWR’s Managing Director, in honour of the railwaymen that gave their lives.

Andy Mellors, Managing Director for South Western Railway said: “It was an honour to attend the event at Southwark Cathedral, 100 years after the first service of commemoration. It will be a very special moment to lay a wreath at the Victory Arch on Armistice Day, with Arthur’s great-grandson Matthew.”

Matthew Philips said when asked about his great-grandfather: “It was an honour to be able to remember my great-grandfather, a proud railwayman for our company and his colleagues who gave up their today for our tomorrow. My family have always been incredibly proud of him. Despite not wanting to go, he signed up and embarked for the war twice - the second time knowing the horrors of the war.

“Thanks to the information passed on by my grandmother and the research my father and I have done for many years, we visited his plaque in Ploegsteert, Belgium 18 months ago. He is a hero to our family.”

Image Source: South Western Railway 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Alstom set to purchase Bombardier Transportation

18/09/2020Alstom set to purchase Bombardier Transportation

Alstom’s move to takeover Bombardier Transportation has progressed following the announcement that Alstom has signed the sale and purchase ... more >
Flood-damaged Edinburgh-Glasgow line to reopen

18/09/2020Flood-damaged Edinburgh-Glasgow line to reopen

The Edinburgh-Glasgow, via Falkirk High, railway line will reopen for passengers on Monday (21st Sept.) Network Rail engineers have worked t... more >
East Coast Main Line: £216.2m contract to increase power supply

18/09/2020East Coast Main Line: £216.2m contract to increase power supply

Following a £216.2m contract awarded by the Rail Electrification Alliance, The East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade can move forward i... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >