A TRIBUTE to a railway hero who helped save numerous lives after a bomb strike during the Second World War has been unveiled at an East Yorkshire station.

Northern, alongside the Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership, has honoured courageous ticket collector Ernest Barker with a blue plaque at Bridlington station.

Northern and members of the community, including the mayor and deputy major of Bridlington, veterans' groups, children from nearby primary schools and Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership attended a celebration at Bridlington station yesterday (July 11), where the tribute was unveiled.

The heroic railway worker saved lives by battling a fire after a bomb hit the station yard close to a train carriage full of ammunition.

Barker’s brave act was carried out 82 years ago today, July 11, 1941 as an unexpected raid by a German bomber caused devastation in nearby Hilderthorpe Road. Five people died as blasts destroyed buildings.  

But just a few hundred yards away another bomb was close to causing more carnage. Bridlington railway station yard was also hit - and a fire broke out on a train carriage full of ammunition.   

Barker ran to the scene and fought the blaze as his colleagues worked on the fires nearby and thankfully extinguished it, saving many lives of the people in the nearby buildings.  

He became one of the first people to receive the new George Medal. His story has come to light thanks to the research of local historian, Richard Jones.

York Press: Pete Myers from the Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership gives a talk about the new plaquePete Myers from the Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership gives a talk about the new plaque (Image: Northern)

Tony Baxter, regional director at Northern said: “We’re so pleased to be able to pay tribute to a local hero and the heritage of Bridlington station.  

“I’d like to thank everyone for attending the event and we are delighted to be a part of this community project.” 

Northern has also published a map showing the locations of the other historical sites across its stations – perfect for passengers looking to explore more of the train operator’s network.  

Often hidden in plain sight among the hustle and bustle of the station environment, some blue plaques celebrate railway heritage while others commemorate historical figures and unsung heroes – and there is even one honouring a fictional sleuth.