Since the early times man has tried to achieve the impossible, to obtain immortality. From seeking the Alexia of life for to finding the fountain of youth, from being immortalised in stone to being captured in canvass, there has been a desire to be remembered by the coming generations. It is perhaps one of the saddest factors of the First World War that although thousands perished in some of the most horrific conditions ever inflicted on the ordinary soldier, it is these poor souls that have been immortalised through our remembrance services. Nevertheless, we stop also to remember those who have lost their lives in the services of their country right up until the present day with the tragic loss of life in Afghanistan.
The railway industry perhaps more than any other industrial sector honors those who served, fort and died in the military conflicts of the last 100 years.
From Bristol to Birmingham London to Glasgow, York to Preston all across the railway network railway stations and depots have memorials to those who served in the armed forces; many of whom are never returned. It is at these war memorials to railway staff from the train operating companies, network rail, British transport police and the engineering and maintenance companies come to remember those who have gone before. These services of remembrance are held on a variety of days through the week leading up to remembrance Sunday. This is because they are on active railway property and the services are attended by serving railway staff. In some places such as Paddington Railway Station or the Severn Valley Railway services are held on remembrance day itself but for the majority in order to allow railway staff to participate the services are held during the week.
I counted an honour to be invited to make a record of some of these services through the use of my photography. I believe it is important not just to remember those who have served and died, but those who actively serve today in our armed forces. It is important for this nation to remember and reflect on both the horror of war and the determination for peace.
Although we may not remember the individuals who served and lost their lives in the Fields of Flanders, because as the generations past and fade into history those loved ones and their memory fades into the past, if it is the thousands who died in such awful conditions that have achieved an immortality in the hearts and minds of a grateful nation. But we should never forget that even today sons and daughters, perhaps of those we know or perhaps our own, face death on a foreign shore as they serve in our armed forces.
A the railway station may seem to be a strange place to hold the remembrance service; yet it is from these places of work that so many left and never returned. As an industry and as a railway family the lost our remembered. So next time you wander through the railway station take time to stop and pause look to see if there is a war memorial and if there is take time to stop them pay your respects to those who have gone before.
If you would like to see a selection of photographs from the London Euston remembrance service could please visit this link: London remembrance service photographs
Capture the moment and save the memory, that is what photography does time and time again.
From photographing weddings and events, we will capture you day through the lens of the camera.
My first wedding photography was when I was 17 years of age. Both the equipment has change over time as has my style and ability. Photography has been a passion for over 30 years. In fact probably over 40 years, but 30 since I purchased my first SLR Camera. It was a Richo XR7 and at the time it was a top of the rage camera. Now I shoot with the Canon 5D Mk ii.
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