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Train guard's log book, Kingsbridge line 1944
Peter Mitchelmore, who owns the train guard's log book for the Kingsbridge line covering the important year of 1944, has provided notes to explain two pages in this small volume, which was kept in pencil by the guard. They show how the war could impact on the activities even of remote branch lines, and the matter-of-fact way in which momentous events were recorded..
Train guard's log book, Kingsbridge line, 1944

Thursday 27th April 1944

On this date the Guard's journal records one of two known visits to Kingsbridge by rail, by Field Marshal Montgomery. (His train code named 'RAPIER' originated from a location on the Southern Railway system, composed of LNER and LMS rolling stock). His purpose was to view the progress of the training of American troops in the South Hams area in preparation for the impending invasion of Europe. All normal scheduled branch services were suspended on the days he travelled.

27th April 1944 falls during the ill-fated progress of "Exercise Tiger"

It is known that General Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, also came to Kingsbridge by rail. However, the source illustrated here does not record this fact. His train codenamed 'ALIVE' is made up of GWR rolling stock, brought him to the nearest railhead at Kingsbridge, to view the training of American troops in preparation for D-Day.

Train guard's log book, Kingsbridge line, 1944

Troop move

Saturday 29th. April 1944

The journal finally records one of many troop trains traversing the Kingsbridge branch, mainly consisting of American personnel. Normal branch services would also have been suspended on the days of these special trains.

On D-Day itself, Monday 6th. June 1944, normal branchline services resumed.

Creator: Mitchelmore, Peter
Title: Train guard's log book, Kingsbridge line 1944
Imprint: : Devon Library Services
Date: 2003
Format: Web page : HTML
Series: Biographical guides ; EVA
Ref. no.: WEB TEST-EVA
Coverage: Devon . Kingsbridge . Railway personnel . Evans, Ernie . Guards. Log books . 1944

Last Updated: 06/05/2005

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