NRM launches war workers database

Heroes of Great War  honoured in NRM archive

Alison Kay, assistant archivist at the National Railway Museum, with documention that has been included on a new War Database, which is now available online

David Charles Oswald Noonan

A E Thackerah

Gilbert Lewis

Betty Stephenson

Percy Pickering

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

MANY of the forgotten victims of the First World War can now be remembered, thanks to the creation of an online archive by the National Railway Museum, in York.

The museum has created a database of about 30,000 railway workers – including hundreds from York and North Yorkshire – who died while serving in the Great War.

People can now search for individuals and go into the museum to view thousands of photographs thanks to the project, which has been two years in the making.

Alison Kay, assistant archivist, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming people who want to look up details of former family members, friends or neighbours that may have died in the war.

“In due course, we’d love to hear from anyone who uses our database and finds information they find useful.

“We plan to keep on adding to the list over the coming years.

“This database has been a few years in the making and we are delighted to now make it accessible. Many hours were put in by former assistant archivist, Martin Bashforth and a team of volunteers.”

The database – the most comprehensive of its kind – includes names, rank, military number, rail department, railway occupation and address, as well as information on their families, war memorial and date of death.

The information had previously been available in railway company staff magazines and archives but has never been in a central location before.

Visit nrm.org.uk/RailwayStories/worldwarone.aspx to see the database.


Faces from the past preserved forever

THE following York people who died during the First World War are listed in the archive:

David Charles Oswald Noonan
Mr Noonan, 29, who was known as Dasher, worked as a carriage cleaner in York before being killed in action. His mother and father, David and Annie, lived at 21 Fishergate. He had also served in India for seven years.

A E Thackerah
Mr Thackerah, aged 27, whose first name is not known, was a skilled footballer who played for Groves United for several seasons. He was an assistant cellarman employed at the North Eastern Railway Hotel Department, Central Cellars, in York. His father lived at 1 Cole Street, in The Groves, York. He was killed in action.

Gilbert Lewis
Former Minster School pupil Mr Lewis, 24, had been a chorister at York Minster and was organist and choirmaster at St Luke’s Church, York. He was one of two Minster choirboys reported killed in action in May 1917 and a memorial service was held for him at the Minster. His parents, Thompson and Emma, lived at 1 Longfield Terrace, Bootham. Mr Lewis had been employed at the North Eastern Railway General Superintendent’s Office, York.

Betty Stephenson
Ambulance driver Miss Stephenson, who was 21, was killed in an air raid while on active service at a base camp in France. She was awarded the Croix De Guerre Avec Palme. Miss Stephenson was the only daughter of Mr Arthur G Stephenson, an estate agent with the North Eastern Railway.

Percy Pickering
Sapper Pickering, 23, of Fairfax Avenue in Selby, had worked as a fireman before dying in hospital in Fulham as a result of an accident at war. He is buried in Selby Cemetery.

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