In common with many other organisations, the Ffestiniog Railway Company has been anxious to learn more about the contribution that its employees made to the 1914-1918 War.
Consequently, members of the Ffestiniog Railway Heritage Group undertook to discover the names of the people who served their country, at the same time trying to establish more details of their individual stories.
In May 2017, an appeal was made through social media and the various local media outlets, and as a result of this it was learned that at least two former employees lost their lives in the conflict. Both were unfortunately killed in action in France.
The appeal is ongoing and we would welcome any information about family members who worked on the railway at the time with a view to paying tribute to their contribution to the War during 2018, the centenary year of its end. Photos of them would be particularly appreciated.
On November 11th 2018 at 3pm., a newly-constructed war memorial, funded by the Railway Heritage Trust, was unveiled at Tan y Bwlch Station to commemorate the sacrifices made by these men. There was a short service of remembrance on site, and a display of items of rolling stock that saw service on the Western Front.
Andy Savage, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust, and formerly Deputy Chairman of The Festiniog Railway Company, said:
“The Trust’s researches showed that the Ffestiniog Railway was one of a small number of railway companies that had not honoured those who served with a war memorial. Uniquely, the quality of the Railway’s records made it possible to create a memorial at this late stage that not only honoured the two employees who Fell in the War, but also all those who served in the forces. I am personally delighted that the Trust has been able to fund the memorial, given my long involvement with the Railway, and I congratulate those who carried out the comprehensive research that made the memorial possible.”
A special train was provided with Palmerston and David Lloyd George in charge.
Thanks to Sean Thomas for providing photos.