Application for twelve days’ paid annual leave lodge with R.S.C.

Further war wage increases secured.


Extracted from Blood & Custard Website

London Bridge Friday 14th February 1944

Extracted and adapted from 

Newhaven Branch Special Meeting

Sunday February 20th 1944

The meeting was opened at 7.15 p.m. By Bro. Rookley, who with a short few remarks from the Chair called upon the speaker Bro. W.J. Cleaver to address the meeting. Bro. Cleaver in his remarks spoke of the activities of our Society during the years of the war. Calling to our minds, the propaganda used by the Government to increase the war effort, in so doing he called to mind the pledge of "Equality of Sacrifice" necessary for the conduct of the war, but by so doing reminded as of the unequally as forthcoming from the Government. 

Bro. Cleaver went on to explain how the Society endeavoured to safeguard our interests in these times of National Stress, and gave an outline if the proposed National Agreement, together with the proposals for a superannuation fund. Many and varied were the point touched on by Bro. Cleaver who made it plain to all present that as vast changes may take place in the Railway managements or some form of public ownership be evolved, together with other means of transport, it was more than ever necessary that we had parliamentary representation, and called upon member to pay the political fund to assist to this end.


Extracted from Blood & Custard Website

Redhill - Earlswood Wednesday 23rd February 1944
Streatham Hill Thursday 2nd March 1944
Eastbourne Tuesday 14th March 1944
Beckenham Saturday 25th March 1944


APRIL 1944


Whilst appreciating the general feeling of war weariness from which most of us are suffering at the present time, and to the feeling of frustration in the efforts which are made to overcome the effect of this, it becomes necessary to direct attention to certain of the methods which are being adopted to give effect to the feelings of those concerned in this matter.

Those who have some connection with the Industry are conscious of the growing intensity of the traffic which is to be moved, and of the increasing difficulties under such movements are made. In general way these apply to every section of railway operations, but they are very pronounced so far as locomotive depots are concerned. We can understand the exasperation which is felt by enginemen, on occasion, to the circumstances under which their engine is prepared, and indeed, to the condition of the engine which they are called upon to work.

Any sane person who has an interest in enginemen desires to see them working under decent conditions, and we know that there is justification for the emphatic resolutions of protest which are forwarded to the Headquarters of the Unions or voiced at meetings called for that purpose. The problem should be faced with the knowledge that the officials of the Unions are doing their best to assist their members by approached to the amployers, and to the Ministry responsible for the Industry.

These protests do not arise from this aspect of railway working alone, however, as objections to Fire Guard duty and Home Guard duty are responsible for many untoward situations being created. Most of us believe that the national policy of trying to involve almost everybody in these duties without due regard to the peculiar circumstances surrounding certain forms of employment was a mistake, and we said this at the time that this decision was reached.  

By persistent approaches to those in authority, certain amendments and understandings regarding the form in which these duties should be operated have been secured by the Unions. Whilst even this has not made the conditions ideal, it at least has brought them within the ambit of reason.

With a desire to understand, and, indeed, to help remove legitimate grievances in these matters, the Unions are prevented from actively doing this when those without authority, by their action, undermine the policy of the Union sand the authority they possess. These matters all come down to the need for reason being applied by everybody concerned.

We are, of course, all tired of war conditions. We are, even more, yearning for the end of hostilities, but we are all desirous of ensuring that that end will be one which will mean a victory for the United Nations.

We shall need all our our collective strength to face the difficulties of post war period in Britain so far as Railways are concerned, and our energy should be conserved for that period rather than be wasted at the present moment.


Members will have gathered that in the past few days an application has been submitted for an increase in the war wage at present payable by an addition of 12s. per week.

It is contended that this application is fully justified if thought is given to the general position in the Industry, and to the additional strain and responsibility which is now placed upon most grades of railway workers, and certainly on locomotivemen. A meeting has taken place to consider the matter, and the companies are giving consideration which have been made to date.


An application has been submitted to the Railway Executive Committee which has for its object an increase in the present holiday period of six day to twelve days annually with pay.

An initial discussion has taken place with representation of the companies and when further developments take place further advice will be sent to all concerned.

Members are advised to attend branch meetings whenever possible in order to be conversant with the progress of these important applications.


Information regarding the policy which has been adopted, and the claim which has been made for the introduction of a Pensions Scheme to cover all railwaymen has been set out in circular form, which is now in the hands of all branches. Those who are interested in this subject should take steps to make themselves acquainted with the action which is being taken in this matter.


Bro. E. McKew Battersea Branch 

We have just learned of the death of Bro. E. McKew, of Battersea Branch. This member joined the Society in 1889. He was placed on our Superannuation Fund in June 1910 at the age of 60, and remained on the Fund until January of this year, a period of 33 1/2 years. During that time, he received Superannuation Benefit exceeding £360. So much for trade union assistance.

* Former A.S.R.S., on the L.B.S.C.R.


MAY 1944


At the time of going to press, the negotiations which have taken place in connection with the application for an increase in war wages, as submitted by three Railway Unions, have resulted in a settlement being reached. 

It is agreed that the total now payable to adults shall be increased by 5s. per week, and that payable to juniors by  2s. 6d. per week. Whilst in addition the full figure of 5s. will be paid to all juniors whilst working in the capacity of adults.

This will mean that the total war wage  to male adults will be 25s. 6d. per week, and to male juniors 12s. 9d. per week. Juniors when working as adults will receive a total of 20s. per week. This result is reasonably satisfactory, but falls short of being generous if regard is paid to the conditions under which most railwaymen, and particularly locomotivemen, are working at the present time.

The hesitancy which is displayed in recognising in a practical form- -first, the many sacrifices that railway workers have made during the war period, and, secondly, the additional strain to which they are being submitted by events that the post-war conditions of employ- which are beyond their control, is, we are afraid, likely to create very many difficulties in the near future.

Most of us are anxious to avoid these difficulties, in view of pending events and the serious position in which the nation may find itself, but we think that those who are running railways should be warned of the danger of  adopting the semi-complacency with which they have approached the applications which have been made to secure improvements in the working life of railwaymen and women. It is imperative that this attitude should be changed  by them if the loyalty which all have displayed for the past five years is to be  maintained. As we have so often said, something more than letters of thanks must be produced if that co-operation which we all desire is to continue.


The measure of satisfaction which can be expressed in regard to the war wage application cannot be repeated in respect to the effort which has been made to secure a long desired improvement in one of the conditions of service - namely, by the extension of the annual holiday with pay from six to 12 days per year. These negotiations have not finally been disposed of. We are time hoping that the strength which is behind this demand so far as. most of grades be lost sight of when the discussions are resumed. Indeed, we think it right to say that those who imagine that the post-war conditions of employment for railway workers can undergo no material change are living in a"fool's paradise."

Here we leave this subject for the moment conscious that it will be not only advisable but vitally necessary to refer to the matter again in the very near future.

Munition Train at Seaford


MAY 1944


It is not often that we have to appear in print; indeed, our meetings are often few and far between, due largely to the war and the various war time activities in which everyone is involved in greater or lesser degree. An exception come on February 20th when a special meeting of the branch was attended and addressed by Organising Secretary, Bro. W.J. Cleaver. Those of our members, and those from Seaford Branch who attended at our invitation, received a fine tonic in the speech delivered by the speaker, who, only having an hour for same, had to be brief. Bro. Cleaver spoke on the situation to-day, and trend of events, and outlined our Society’s policy for the future, making special reference to our need for political representation in Parliament, and our need to support the Political Fund. We tender our grateful thanks to Bro. Cleaver for his visit and hope that next time he visits our branch still members will be present to hear his message

Branch Secretary


World War ll   Just before D-Day (6th June 1944) freight services were disrupted somewhat as Drove (Singleton) and Cocking Tunnels were used for storing ammunition wagons for the royal Navy and double steel doors were build across either ends of each tunnel with a 24hour armed guards at each.


Newhaven Harbour June 6th 1944


Extracted from Blood & Custard Website

Brighton Saturday 17th June 1944
West Croydon Saturday 17th June 1944
Victoria Sunday 18th June 1944
Forest Hill Thursday 22nd June 1944
West Croydon Friday 23rd June 1944
Windmill Bridge Junction Friday 23rd June 1944
Victoria Sunday 25th June 1944
Streatham Hill Friday 30th June 1944


Eastbourne Enginemen

Left ~ Right: Derek Carter, Pat Ray, Arthur Divall, unknown Collins 

Peter Dove c1944 


Two firemen Graham White & George Howes who were formerly of Bognor Locomotive Shed. 

 Extracted from the book Going of the rails

The “Midhurst Turn”

Enginemen working from Bognor looked forward to the “Midhurst Turn”, not least because the booking on time was 8:30 a.m. rather than the usual 3:30 a.m.! The duty was looked upon as a week’s holiday. It started each day by taking a light engine – frequently a “Vulcan”, one of the old L.B.S.C.R.’s 0-6-0 tender engines of class “C2x” – to Chichester, where it waited for 15 minutes.

During World War II Chichester had an extensive marshalling yard at which additional sidings had been installed for wartime traffic. Also there was a triangle for turning engines. The site is occupied now by the Westgate Leisure Centre. After a quick cup of tea the crew would back the engines on to the goods train for Midhurst which usually comprised box vans with supplies for the village shops, and wagons – some full, others empty for coal yards at Lavant and Singleton.

On obtaining the right of way from the yard the train set out, and the signalman in Fishbourne Crossing signal box would be ready, holding out the staff for the fireman to grab as they passed, whereupon the train had a clear path up the line. The climb out of Chichester to the first station of Lavant was on a gradient of 1 in 75 and on the journey care had to be taken, especially with heavy beet trains. In the days when goods trains did not have continuous brakes there were always fears that the wagons might overpower an engine on down grades. George Howes recalled how one driver misjudged his approach and smashed into the Fishbourne Crossing gates which had only been repaired the previous day. The driver had such a fright as thought he might hit a bus on the crossing he lost all his hair after the accident and it never grew back.

Graham White used to get Freddie Gun, the coalman at Bognor shed, to throw up some extra coal when he was refuelling the engine. As they proceeded past the troops he used to throw out large lumps of coal which the soldiers would retrieve for use in the stoves of their field kitchens. In return, they threw all sorts of items into empty wagons in the train, such as chocolate, tins of corned beef, tinned soup, dried eggs and Canadian cigarettes. Such goodies were in short supply to civilians subject to wartime rationing. At Lavant the spoils were retrieved from the wagons and shared out between enginemen and guard.

The American armed forces had a large mess tent on Singleton station and likewise gave the crew food such as cheese, butter and bacon which was in far from plentiful supply in the local shops. The platelayer would also present the crew with a rabbit when he had one. 

That goes some way to explain why work on the Midhurst the line was so popular: nobody wanted to miss their turn!

George Howes also found this turn of duty quite profitable for shooting game. In the locality of Singleton station pheasant were always to be found and the Landlord at the Terminus at Bognor would give him 30/- a brace which would boost his earnings quite considerably. The modus operandi was that if George bagged two pheasants with his pistol the driver would slow up. George would then jump off the engine and try to get back: if unable to do so he would clamber aboard the guard’s brake van. According to George, “I really wanted to get back on the engine as my mate would load the gun. One day I come away with 18 pheasant.”

This pastime wasn’t a preserve of the footplate crew as Graham White knew of a guard from Littlehampton who fired a shotgun from his brake van. Graham and the driver used to keep an eye on him, and if he found his target they wound on the brakes.

Once allied forces had invaded Europe the line was no longer used for storage of wagons of ammunition and once more trains went through to Midhurst. But the lines attraction for the footplate crews remained. At Christmas time holly and mistletoe would be collected from the line side for use at home and Christmas trees were readily available at Cocking.

On arrival at Midhurst at about noon, the train would pull up to the tunnel near the station. The Fireman would jump off the locomotive and go straight into the porter’s hut where a kettle was always on the boil. Billycans were filled and, as the engine chugged back into the goods yard, the fireman would climb aboard the engine. Driver and Fireman would have their meal before shunting the yard. If not much shunting indicated, the crew would stroll down the town, leaving the engine to simmer on its own.

On a normal rostered turn the train would make its way to Petworth. Out of Petworth was uphill and the crew would have an n unpleasant time when the engine was working hard with steam and smoke filling the cab. In winter, the crew wouldn’t risk putting their heads out of the cab as icicles might be hanging down from the roof of Midhurst Tunnel. Quite thick at the top, the icicles tapered down, and frequently almost touched the ground. 

While passing through Midhurst Tunnel, driver and fireman would their breath hoping that the engine would give them little trouble so that their ordeal would be over as soon as possible. It would help if the locomotive was being fired properly and emitting the minimum of smoke. Just after the war George Howes recalled that “smoke-jacks” were out and about, intent on keeping their eye on engines coming up the line, and ready to file a report if they thought that too much smoke was being emitted.

On to Selham where the normal routine would take place of trucks being delivered and coupled up. From here loads of chestnut fencing was sent out to Petworth with a passenger service still in operation strict timekeeping had to be observed on this part of the line.

Petworth was the end of the turn for the Bognor crew. They would go to the signal box situated on the bank to make a cup of tea, or on very hot days the local pub would be visited. First the yard had to be shunted, the train marshalled, and the locomotive ready for the relief crew. Coal was moved forward in the tender, and the engine oiled round for the Horsham men who worked the train from Pulborough to Petersfield. Then the Bognor crew travelled home “passenger,” first on the motor train to Pulborough and then by electric service to Bognor Regis. For railwaymen, a journey home by passenger train in this way was said to be “on the cushions.”

The Chichester to Midhurst turn ceased quite abruptly for Bognor men in 1951, when the engine of the Midhurst goods train met with disaster when a stretch of railway line between Singleton and Midhurst had been washed away. The decision was taken that it was uneconomic to restore the line and thereafter the Chichester to Midhurst goods service ceased.


JULY 1944



This long awaited period has now come and passed, and at the time of writing these notes the Allied Forces are firmly established in an area of Normandy, and have succeeded in taking effective steps to cut off the Peninsula upon which Cherbourg is situated, from the rest of France.

The first move in the great venture of liberating Europe from the West has been made, and we sincerely hope the list of casualties will not be found excessive in view of the nature of the task at stake. the plan was not only an ambitious one, but was well carried out by all members of the Forced, and all who played any small part in this are deserving of our thanks and gratitude. 

Our thoughts will be with those who are facing the hazards which this campaign must bring and in this regard we do not differentiate between the men in the various service, all of whom in their differing capacities have carried forward that tradition which has been associated with all Forces believing in and fighting for the cause of freedom.

We shall hope that their task will be completed in the quickest possible time, and they have the knowledge that any assistance which we in our civilian capacity can give them will be forthcoming.

We have been given striking accounts of our armies during the first few days spent on the soil of France, by those who are attached to the Press, and other bodies, either as reporters or cameramen, and it is no exaggeration to say that these men have by their diligence and courage enabled the "man in the street" to secure a greater understanding of the dangers and difficulties which the men in the Forces are facing. To that extent, knowing that to do this these correspondents have faced many dangers, leaves us with a desire to pay them a tribute of sincere appreciation.

Undoubtedly, there are many obstacles to be overcome before the war in Europe is concluded. We in the meantime will ensure, that every form of assistance towards this end shall be made available, and whenever the opportunity occurs will seek to work for the creation of a condition of things that will enable those who return to recognise that their task has not been in vain.


Extracted from Blood & Custard Website

Victoria Saturday1st July 1944

Streatham Hill Saturday 1st July 1944, 
Involving the 2.37 p.m. Streatham Hill to Victoria (Empty Coaching Stock)

New Cross Gate 2nd July 1944

St Helier - Morden South Tuesday 4th July 1944 St. Helier to Morden South 8.41 a.m. Wallington to Holborn Viaduct

Victoria Wednesday 5th July 1944

New Cross Gate Friday 7th July 1944

Crystal Palace Tuesday 11th July 1944
Involving the 8.9 a.m. Epsom Downs to Victoria and the 8.31 a.m. Victoria to Coulsdon North

Selhurst Friday 14th July 1944

London Bridge Saturday 15th July 1944

Battersea Park Sunday 16th July 1944
Involving the 6.28 p.m. Tattenham Corner to Victoria

New Cross Gate Friday 21st July 1944

Wallington Thursday 27th July 1944
Involving the 5.18 Victoria to Epsom Downs




Our members will in most instances be aware of certain arrangements which were recently made to augment the personnel available to work engines as drivers and firemen. These arrangements were made consequent upon a decision of the Government  No attempt was made to discuss the subject with the Railway Unions concerned prior to the decision being arrived at. To that extent it will be seen that this arrangement is not one which we have sought. Indeed, the Society has very  definite opinions in regard to the manpower problem so far as enginemen are concerned, and it has expressed the view on more than one occasion through the medium of its representatives for many weeks that this problem has been very badly handled.

No one can therefore be surprised that when we were made aware of the intentions to draft men from other industries and from the Forces into locomotive sheds, with a view to them qualifying as firemen, that the Society not only did not welcome the proposal, but took a measure of exception to the manner in which the whole subject had been handled. To say the things, the Trade Unions had a right to expect that prior to any such revolutionary move being made, that the necessity or otherwise of it would have been made the subject for consultation.

In all probability I should not have referred the matter to these columns but for the fact that certain sections of the Daily Press have recently been giving publicity to the decision to use men in this way by special references to the men from the Army, Navy, and Air Force who are now working at locomotive sheds.

It was generally understood that publicity in this matter was not desirable; but seeing that the Daily Press can have the facilities for referring to the matter, I decided that it would be advisable. to tell the whole story rather than allow any misgiving or misunderstanding to exist in the minds of the men who really matter so far as this subject is concerned-—namely, " the men in the line of promotion in a permanent capacity." 

I want, first, to make it clear that the necessity for the Government's decision is very questionable. True it is that there are some locomotive sheds that have obviously been short of firemen for quite a  long time. The railway companies concerned have in a general way continued their recruiting efforts, and I think that no fault can be found with their activities in this direction. The fact that they have not been able to secure all the men the have needed is perhaps traceable to economic conditions.

On the other hand, there has been, and still is, a number of centres at which men were not fully occupied, and to which additional work could have been transferred, if the policy of moving work as much as possible had been embarked upon, rather than that of compelling members of  the staff to consider transferring their  homes by removal. It must be admitted, however, that certain men who could have moved on occasions have for personal reasons declined to do so.

Certain it is that if the best use had been made of the men in the line of promotion who were available to each of the respective companies, then the necessity for transferring some 4,000 men from the Services and from other industries would not have arisen.

I do not desire to stress the position of men who are being transferred from other in this matter was not desirable; but seeing industries with a view to qualifying to act as firemen, excepting to say that in very few instances can they fit the medical and eyesight standard which will enable them to qualify for work as firemen, and bearing in mind that in many instances they are men who are in the region of 40 years of age, this can be fully understood.

It is, however, in regard to the publicity locomotive sheds, to be used as firemen if given to men from the Services upon which I desire to comment. Here I would point, out that the conditions under which men from the Army, Navy and Air Force are being temporarily employed at locomotive depots, in so far as their conditions of pay, etc., are concerned, have never been the subject of consultation with a view to agreement with the Railway Trade Unions. We thus have the spectacle of the men from these Forces working under different conditions. For instance, the man from the Navy has been released "on reserve," and, therefore, has appeared at the depot in civilian attire and becomes subject to the ordinary standard rates of pay applicable to that of firemen. He has al the advantages which can accrue to him.

When you consider the position of the men from the Army and the Air Force,  another story is to be told. These men appear for railway duty in their service uniform. They receive their appropriate Army or Air Force rate of pay, and are subject to the conditions applicable to firemen in so far as overtime rates and other conditions are concerned.

It does not require any imagination to realise the dissatisfaction which this position is creating. The men from the Army are, in most instances, within reach of 40 years of age, and with but few exceptions have no experience of railway work.

But what of the men from the R.A.F.? These, we are told, are men who have volunteered to work temporarily at a locomotive depot. In al instances they are  members of operational crews, many of them with the qualification of Sgt./Pilot. They are highly trained with much technical knowledge, which is, of course, necessary to the important rank they occupy in the R.A.F. Now we have them working in locomotive sheds, to be used as firemen if they are required, but when not acting in that capacity they may be cleaning engines, sweeping up the shed or shovelling ashes into wagons, or perhaps assisting to throw out engine fires. What a spectacle this can be! Here are men for whom the whole community has the greatest possible 

admiration, qualified to do a highly skilled and dangerous job in the service of the country, being used in this way. It may be true that they have volunteered to do this, but I cannot help thinking that those who invented the hare-brained idea which made this possible have less consideration for these young men than the average person in the street. I am quite sure that, as a society, we would never make such a suggestion even fi we were faced with the greatest imperative need for getting additional men from some quarter.

I feel it necessary to make known this part of the story in a rather different way to that adopted by certain newspapers in  London. I want our members to recognise that this position does not give us satisfaction, neither do I think that the people generally will approve of actions such as those taken on this subject. In the interest of the country at this supreme testing period of the war, we have refrained from openly contesting the decision of the 
Government Department in this matter, but it should be borne in mind that this does not mean that the decision has our approval.

The position has been set out fully in a circular recently issued to branches, and I can only hope that these notes will bring little more daylight on the subject.


Extracted from Blood & Custard Website

New Cross Gate Wednesday 2nd August 1944
Involving the 7.4 a.m. London Bridge to Ore and the 7.18 a.m. London Bridge to Epsom Downs

London Bridge Sunday 6th August 1944

Crystal Palace Tuesday 8th August 1944

New Cross Gate - Brockley Wednesday 16th August 1944
Involving the 6.24 p.m. London Bridge to Coulsdon North

Herne Hill Wednesday 23rd August 1944 
Involving the 8.43 Holborn Viaduct to Wallington




Much water has flowed under the bridge since the early part of 1941, when we first entered that somewhat new phase of life. I refer to the implications regarding fire-watching. No one who has any knowledge of the facts of enemy raids of that time, and the tremendous damage by fire which was then caused, would seriously disagree with the steps which were taken to provide measures to counter the effect of the air raids. It may be that the introduction of fire-watching duties appeared to add a greater hardship upon the workers on the premises than upon the owner thereof, unless he too happened to live on these premises.

With but few exceptions, that added responsibility has been shouldered by the men and women who were involved the various Orders in a splendid spirit; and let it be said that in many instances prior to the order becoming compulsory a large number of men and women took on fire-watching duties in a voluntary capacity. There has, however, been a vast change in things in general for many months. First, there was the tremendous lull in enemy air raid activities. In spite of that, those fire-watching duties were still being operated, at a comparatively small cost to the country, but with a fair measure of sacrifice from those involved. The remuneration received for expenses is virtually infinitesimal. The lull in enemy action has been succeeded in Southern England and in the London Area by the flying bombs. Those who have experience of these latter activities would, we think, without exception, agree that persons acting as fire-watchers. can do little, if anything, during these incidents, as fires are not usually the outcome of the falling of flying bombs. Still, however, fire-watching goes on.

It occurs to us that the time has arrived for the Ministry of Home Security to give consideration to complete cancellation of fire-watching duties of a compulsory character. We feel that present day circumstances warrant this course being followed, and that it is due to the loyalty of those who have performed this work for so long that it should be terminated as quickly as possible.

The second of what have been known as citizens' duties is that of service in the Home Guard. This a duty that has been somewhat more contentious because, in a compulsory character, it has in many instances seriously disturbed, and at times distorted, the measure of the rest which men in some industries particularly are entitled to have. We do not desire to enumerate those industries unfairly, but would certainly claim that so far as railway workers are concerned, the performance of Home Guard duties has been in many instances a real hardship,

Here, again one would say that in June, 1940, when the Local Defence Volunteers was formed (it virtually formed itself) no one would do anything to belittle the spirit which prompted the activities of those concerned. The country was then in danger, and there were men of all ages who were anxious to play their part in defending it, should any intruder attempt to invade our shores. When later this defence was developed and the Home Guard was formed, it took on a degree of even greater impetus, one that almost presupposed that powers were sought for compulsorily enrolling male citizens into the Home Guard.

With the passage of time the duties of the Home Guard have not been minimised, but, on the other hand, they have in recent months been extended. Here, again, we are, I think, entitled to ask,"Is this duty really necessary?" In our view it is not, and bearing in mind the tremendous incursions that have taken place for so long in the leisure time of the men concerned, it is our view that the War Office should seriously consider reducing still further the amount of times spent by those in Home Guard Units, and also decide that the H.G. should be disbanded at the earliest possible moment.

all will agree that the Home Guard was not formed to provide a limited number of people with the privilege of wearing an officer's uniform; its real purpose was much more serious than that, and we submit that purpose does not now exist.


We continue to receive a number of complaints on the general man-power position. These have reference, in several instances, to the lack of work at a number of locomotive sheds for the train personnel to perform. To those who are interested in this this subject, I would merely say at this stage, that we have this in hand, and you may like to know that at the right moment a suitable approach will be made in regard thereto, in the hope of removing the many  anomalies which we know exist. 

There is another feature of this matter which must also be brought ot light. It is pleasing to me to find that amongst our members who are serving overseas in H.M. Forces there are many who are retaining a major interest ni the job which they held in happier days. I have received a number of letters from members who are in the Central Mediterranean Forces- -and also in the Middle East Forces-in regard to the method which is now being adopted to provide additional personnel for the working of engines. These lads point out that in many instances, although recruited for their normal work as drivers and firemen, 

the amount of time they spend in that capacity is negligible. They have been out of the country for three years, and they are asking, with every justification, why they should not be allowed to come back to Britain and perform the job for which they are most suited—i.e., drivers and firemen. Who is there amongst us who can take exception to a sentiment of this description? It occurs to me that there is every justification under present circumstances for the resentment which has been expressed by these men, and it should be noted that they are not an infinitesimal number. One of these letters is signed by no fewer than 44 drivers and firemen from various locomotive depots in Britain-all of whom are serving with the C.M.F.

It is generally known that we have expressed our opinion on the man-power problem for very many months in very strong terms. That our approaches have not been effective is not a fault of ours, but rather that the Government does not—or will not-accept our point of view.

To those men who are in the Forces who may see this note, may I say that we are not unmindful of your position, and when the chance is presented to us of making an effective demand to get our members back on the footplate, such as we have made previously, you may rest assured that this opportunity will be grasped.



W. J. CLEAVER-District No. 6

I feel I cannot allow this opportunity to pass without paying tribute to the trainmen operating in " Southern England and the London Area." Unlike the factory workers and the majority of the public they have no shelters, no spotters indicating the imminent danger signal, but just keep one eye on the signals and track and the other in a heavenly direction, and, despite Hitler's attempt to intimidate and disorganise, the wheels continue to rotate and trainmen are heroically playing their part in the final distruction of Fascism. Hitler's terror weapon is no respecter of persons, as branches in the district will have learned from my new temporary address, and I would like to take this opportunity of saying how I appreciate the sentiments expressed ni the numerous letters received.

Disciplinary Form .1 hearings and appeals have received attention, and often the decision to record a punishment is made when it is revealed that one of the Companies' regulations has not been strictly operated. A visit to Norwood Junction on behalf of a member charged with "passing a signal at danger without authority" revealed a curious but what may have resulted in a serious set of circumstances. The driver brought his light engine to a stand at the signal, observed the trap points close and shortly afterwards was advised by his fireman that the signalman was calling them from the cabin. The usual " pop." on the whistle, another apparent hand signal and subsequently Form .1 The inquiry disclosed that the signalman did not give a hand signal but was indicating the flight of a robot plane ot men working on the track. Obviously extenuating circumstances, but rule is involved, and in accordance with past practice the accommodating driver shoulders the responsibility when a slip-up occurs.


Extracted from Blood & Custard Website

Nr South Bermondsey Thursday 26th October 1944
Involving the 7.47 a.m. London Bridge to London Bridge and the 8.31 a.m. London Bridge to London Bridge 

Nr Brockley Wednesday 1st November 1944 
Involving the 4.58 p.m. Brighton to London Bridge and the 5.45 p.m. London Bridge to London Bridge. 

Beckenham Junction Saturday 11th November 1944

New Cross Gate Saturday 25th November 1944

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