Search for Lancashire relatives of former railway workers who died in the First World War

The railway war memorial
The railway war memorial
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Rail operator Northern is searching for the relatives of soldiers whose names appear on a long-lost war memorial which is soon to be re-housed at Newton Heath train maintenance depot.

More than 60 years after the memorial was moved from the site on Dean Lane, it is set to be returned, having been lovingly restored.

Now Northern is searching for families of those on the memorial ahead of a special unveiling ceremony at the depot on Friday 28 June.

The event will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles – which brought an end to the First World War – and will give all the chance to see the loving restoration carried out by A G Podmore and Sons of York and funded by the Railway Heritage Trust.

At the outbreak of war, in 1914, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway company had a 37,000 strong workforce. More than 10,000 volunteered for the armed services, with 1,422 losing their lives.

As happened all over Europe, when peace finally came, and the soldiers returned to work, the Lancashire and Yorkshire’s carriage and wagon department created a war memorial, immortalising their 117 fallen comrades, as well as recording the names of all those in the department who served.

The memorial was moved from Newton Heath Carriage Works when it closed and was taken to Newton Heath Town Hall where it stayed until the building was demolished.

Many years later, parts of the memorial were found in the undercroft of Manchester Piccadilly and were subsequently held by East Lancashire Railway for safekeeping.

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “Now, as a mark of respect to those from the railway family who served in the Great War, the memorial is back where it belongs at Newton Heath.

“We would be delighted to welcome the families of those on the memorial to attend the special event at the end of June and are calling on anyone with information to get in touch.”

Among those named are (from Lostock Hall) E T Whitman of the 1st Loyal North Lancs Regiment; (from Preston) W Barnish of the 4th Loyal North Lancs Regiment; (from Preston) R Hindle of the 3/4th Loyal North Lancs Regiment.

You can pass on any details by emailing press.office@northernrailway.co.uk, by calling 0800 200 6060 or via social media at Facebook (/northernassist) or Twitter (@northern_pr).