Further increases in war wages secured.

Further agreements reached on lodging allowances.


Extracted from Blood & Custard Website

London Bridge Wednesday 20th January 1943
Three Bridges Wednesday 20th January 1943
Selhurst Friday 22nd January 1943

Extracted and adapted from

Newhaven Branch Special Meeting

Sunday January 31st 1943

Meeting was called to hear and discuss the contents of Head Office Circular No.11/1943. 

This circular was read by Chairman who also added a few observation of his own, pointing out the anomaly caused by the increase of wages on a "War time" basis only. This had the effect, with “consegential adjustments” in rates of pay of increasing the wages of certain lower paid grades by as much as 26/- weekly. 

Bro. M. Smith observed that the question of the dead-lock in the negotiations, and the likelihood of negotiations being resumed was under a cloud and in the absence of anything definite coming from Head Office or till such time as anything definite was received, little could be done.

The following motion was moved by Bro. Rookley & seconded by Bro. M. Smith.

"Pending further advice from Head Office, we shall not call a meeting of members unless the situation is most serious; Should the situation not be most serious the Secretary, Assistant Secretary & Chairman shall meet the Branch Committee and convey to the Committee any information received, who will be empowered to convey information to the General Membership: Should the situation become serious, a meeting of the member to be called as soon as possible." 





It is with regret that we have to report the loss of two of our members through enemy action - Bro. George Budd and Bro.George Ansbridge - both of whom were machine gunned whilst on duty. Our comrades were carried to their last resting-place by their fellow-workmates.

Clothing coupons continue to be a sore point; the railway company apparently require 22 coupons for the 1942-3 issue.

It is rumoured that since the award of the farthing per hour increase, several Savings Groups have suddenly sprung up, possibly with a view to avoiding payment of Income Tax on same.

Branch meetings continue to be well attended, but there are still several vacant chairs, so roll up, you chaps, for the February meeting, when it is hoped that we shall have a visitor in person of our new Organising Secretary, Bro. W. Cleaver, who, I am sure, will keep you very interested for an hour. Any Question? Roll up and ask him.

Reg T. Taylor

* George Ansbridge seniority date 20.11.1914

W. Fairey seniority date 18.11.1918. Bill was a fireman and driver at Horsham and ended up as Leading Motorman at Addiscombe. Bill was the fireman on the Guildford to Horsham train that was shot up by a German aircraft on 16th December 1942 at Bramley and where the driver, J. Budd was sadly killed.

Information from Brian Cooke  


MARCH 1943


The L.D.C. elections have taken place and we have returned to our own A.S.L.E. and F. candidates. On the Sunday previous to the election we had a visit from our E.C. member, Bro. H. Bidwell, Bro. Jukes, Sectional Council Secretary and our Sectional Council member, Bro. J. Godfrey. Although our two meetings were not well attended they were interesting, and the members present will have made it well known. Now members, we have a new Secretary and a new L.D.C., so come to the branch and help build up a 100 per cent. membership, trade union and political. After the war we want a new world with new and better conditions, fortnight holiday with pay, etc. Members, have you ever considered the payments you make to your trade union and the benefits you receive for such a small sum? Come to the branch and discuss with a view to build up a good fighting fund for use after the war.


Extracted from Blood & Custard Website

Eastbourne Sunday 7th March 1943
West Worthing Tuesday 9th March 1943
New Cross Gate Monday 19th April 1943

The War Advance was increased again 

in April 1943, this was raised again by 4s 6d.

Railway accident on the 

Southern Railway 

Brighton Section

Victoria 19th April 1943 


 Left ~ Right; Horsham Driver Charles Scrase (22.10.1917)

 & Fireman Fred Manville (22.04.1940)


Extracted from Blood & Custard Website

Bexhill Sunday 23rd May 1943
Brighton Depot & Pullman Shops & Viaduct Tuesday 25th May 1943


Brighton Pullman Shops after air raid

Eastbourne Friday 4th June 1943
Newhaven (near) Wednesday 18th August 1943


Brighton Loco Works

Tuesday 25th May 1943




Still alive and kicking, members taking keen interest in current events, including the Home Guard, dissatisfaction expressed, nine members fined for being absent from parades, one lad of  19 joined the Home Guard at the age of 15, patrolled the South Downs nightly on the look-out for enemy parachutists, has tried to join the Merchant Navy since the age of 17, unable to obtain his release from the railway company to so. Summoned for not attending Home Guard parades, and, owing to the action of the persons responsible in the Home Guard, these people had the satisfaction of seeing this lad (yes, chum, one of their own workmates) sent to prison to do a month’s hard labour. It was then learned that it was the intention of the railway company to dismiss this lad, special meeting called, deputation sent to the locomotive superintendent. Lad has now been released from prison and has appealed, and is now waiting to hear when he has to attend for his appeal. Lad’s defence was that it was impossible to attend parades and have sufficient rest to be fit state for his work. Pleaded not guilty to eight charges, guilty to one. Major of Home Guard told him to plead guilty to all charges, and he would speak for him in court. Major not even in court. No, chum, not intimidation; you are quite wrong; just friendly advice. The chairman of the bench, in sentencing this allege criminal stated that this type of man should be released for the Army. Home Guard at Horsham have attempted to violate. L.D.C. agreement, which was promptly scotched.


*R. T. Taylor seniority date 08.03.1916. (Battersea / Horsham).  Reg was a Battersea / Stewarts Lane man before moving to Horsham, and was a real character. He was M.I.C. Chairman at Stewarts Lane, and Branch Secretary for a number of years at Horsham. He  ended up deputising for the Governor, Mr Howie. Reg was dismissed from the railway over allegations of theft from Agates Timber Yard, which was next to Horsham loco. Charlie Cooke was Reg’s regular mate for a couple of years, and when the Q1 Class were being introduced during the war, Reg was the driver nominated to undertake trials with them. By this time Charlie was a Passed Fireman, and Reg asked specifically for Charlie to be booked with him on the trials, which he did. Charlie enjoyed working with Reg, even though the trails were very hard work.

Information from Brian Cooke (Charlie Cooke’s Grandson)


Eastbourne Enginemen Dick Coombess Certficate of Occupation

which was issued by the Southern Railway


Extracted from Blood & Custard Website

Kemp Town Friday 22nd October 1943


Eastbourne Engine Cleaners Dick Coombes far right

the others Engineman is unknown, 1943




Dickie Coombes tried to join the Navy like his older brother, but he was found out to be too young. His father (Eastbourne driver Walter Coombes) got him to join the railway without him realising that it was a reserved occupation. Once in, he couldn’t get out!! Dick was really used about it, but he soon realised just how dangerous it was during the war as the Germans tried to bomb the railways.

It was during the war and one day he was in the mess room that was on the side of the station looking up the tracks on the left. The sirens went off but they didn't run anywhere as they chose to watch what was happening as there a bit of a dog fight going on overhead, they saw a plane badly damaged but the pilot managed to jump out. Dad said that they all watched in horror as his parachute did open and came down not far in front of them. They ran over but the poor chap had come down feet first and dad said that his legs had been pushed straight up and out at his shoulders. Dead of course and british I understand.  Dad hadn't been there for very many weeks and was rather shaken. He always said that he could never get into a plane and be a parachutist. 

Eastbourne was always being targetted by the Germans with many people being killed. My mums father, having survived the WW1 battles became one of the civil defence men who cleared up the bodies that were killed after a strike. The worse was a large shelter in the town that lots of people went into and it was a direct hit. 

Dad said that one day walking to work a plane strafed  the road and everyone dropped into the gutters. Amazing how people just got on with it, picked themselves up and carried on to work. I don't know if there were any articles at the time about this pilot but it was certainly embedded in dad's memory.





We have found it necessary on two occasions during the current year to bring to the notice of our readers of these columns some pointed questions respecting the policy of enrolling enginemen into the Home Guard. It becomes a little refreshing to find that those in other quarters are also directing attention to some of the unnecessary duty which is being performed under the guise of " Home Guard " and "Fire-watching," to the detriment of their normal employment, which is essential in the nation's interest, particularly at the present moment. it is not surprising that certain Tory members in the "House" take exception to the statement which was recently made by the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress on this subject. A number of the questions which were put and replied to by the Prime Minister  illuminating, not because of their disagreement with the statement which had been made by Sir Walter Citrine, but rather because of the fact that the Tory members concerned displayed a surprising lack ounderstanding of what is actually happening in industry. One  wonders whether the dignity displayed in the precincts of the House of Commons is so high that certain members of that body are living continually in a "world of dreams" or of  " make-  believe." Certainly those who claim to be ruling the nation should make themselves aware of the conditions under which industrial workers are doing their job in many instances to-day. We can only hope that who are residing in the constituencies which are represented by these honourable gentlemen will remember their attitude if and when an opportunity present itself of recording a vote for a candidate who will really represent their general viewpoint.

Make a free website with Yola