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  • Odette Hallowes / Naming, PAD: March 06, 2020
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Author Topic: Heroes of WW2 to be honoured in train namings  (Read 3833 times)
grahame
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« on: February 09, 2020, 09:02:58 pm »

From the GWR Media Centre

Quote
GWR to commemorate 75 years since Victory in Europe

Great Western Railway (GWR) will mark 75 years since the end of World War 2 and peace was declared in Europe by naming six trains after remarkable individuals involved in the conflict.

Those being honoured represent the armed forces, the intelligence services and the world of politics, and remember the sacrifice, bravery and tenacity that helped defeat Nazism.

Among others, those to have an Intercity Express Train named after them include:

   •    Harry Billinge MBE from St Austell in Cornwall, a veteran of D-Day
   •    Wing Commander Ken Rees from Wales, Wellington Bomber pilot who was imprisoned in Stalag Luft III
   •    Alan Turing from London, who led Hut 8 at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, responsible for breaking of German ciphers.

GWR Head of Communications Dan Panes said:

“Naming trains and locomotives is a long tradition of the railway and one which GWR continues, supporting and promoting the people and communities we serve.

“I am really pleased we are able to honour some of the heroes of the war effort, continuing to help tell their incredible stories, and especially during this year where we remember all those who gave so much.”

The six trains will be named during March and April in the run-up to VE Day at the beginning of May.

The first of those to be honoured is Odette Hallowes, a French citizen who lived in London and Devon/Somerset. Odette became a Special Operations Executive and the most highly decorated spy of the war.

A special ceremony will take place at Paddington station and will be attended by members of Odette’s family on Friday 6 March.


Odette’s granddaughter, Sophie Parker said:

“It means so much to our family that Odette is being recognised and remembered in this most moving way. Odette’s story is one of courage, dignity and hope; all of which were so important to her during her wartime service, and in overcoming the torture she suffered.

“I know Odette would be extremely humbled by this honour, and would want it seen as a tribute to all those brave women of the Special Operations Executive, especially those who never returned home.”

“We are thrilled that our grandmother is being recognised and remembered in this fantastic way. She was an incredible woman whose bravery and courage, not only from her wartime service, but also as she lived with the effects of the torture that she suffered.

“I know she would be humbled by this and would want it seen as a tribute to all those brave women of the Special Operations Executive, especially those who never returned home.”

Odette passed away in 1995. A very much fuller life story ((here)) in her obituary in The Independent.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 09:16:23 pm by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2020, 05:28:56 am »

BBC points west mentioned this on its local news on Thursday,

not sure if we might get some film footage from Points West on the tea time News.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2020, 11:56:18 am »

BBC points west mentioned this on its local news on Thursday,

not sure if we might get some film footage from Points West on the tea time News.

It was live fed on Facebook - I caught the end of it - and video should be shortly available there

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bobm
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2020, 12:29:04 pm »

I’ll have some photos later too.
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bobm
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2020, 05:11:46 pm »

I’ll have some photos later too.

I was going to use that as a placeholder and edit it to add the photos, but seeing as it got three likes, I'll start a new post  Grin



Not much to add by way of words to those included in the media release at the top of this thread.

The ceremony took place on Platform 8 with IET 800 314 before it worked the 11:32 to Bristol Temple Meads.



HRH The Princess Royal arrived in her uniform as Commandant-in-Chief of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (also known as the Princess Royal's Voluntary Corps)





Invited guests, including members of Odette's family then travelled to Bristol at the end of the ceremony.  In a move to mark International Women's Day at the weekend, the train was crewed entirely by women, was set to be despatched by female GWR staff along the route and, we were told, was signalled out of Paddington by a female signaller at the TVSC in Didcot.



A final shot - the train returning from Bristol, seen arriving at Bath Spa.



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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2020, 05:14:07 pm »

Hi Bob. Thanks for posting those photographs.
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bobm
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2020, 12:46:51 pm »

The naming of 802 006 after Harry Billinge took place at Penzance this morning.  It was originally planned for March but became one of the first victims of the virus restrictions.  Indeed today's event was scaled back with only a few media there to witness it to allow everyone to keep their distance on the platform.

I was not on the invite list, understandbly, but by happy coincidence I was booked to travel on the train and took a few pictures from the concourse.





Harry, who travelled down from his home in St Austell on the train, gave a speech where once again - as with his MBE - he was accepting the naming on behalf of the "fellas who did not return".

After unveiling the name on the side of the train, he turned and saluted.  You will never keep a old soldier down!

Hopefully more pictures - including the name plate - later.
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bobm
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2020, 03:55:44 pm »

As promised the "nameplate" applied to the train.



The train left Penzance 25 minutes late due a points failure on the single line at Largin delaying it on its way down and then the driver needing his break.  We were on time by Reading and a minmute late into Paddington after waiting for a departing service to cross in front.
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bobm
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2020, 11:13:25 am »

Just noticed on going through my photos of the day that there is a number preceding the set number of 802 006 Harry Billinge MBE LdH



It marks the 22,442 British servicemen who died on D-Day and during the Battle for Normandy.
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