ForTheFallen 5

A unique and moving centenary railway tribute to the thousands who gave their lives in World War One was dedicated by East Coast earlier this month.

Today the locomotive arrived in Edinburgh pulling the 12.10 Peterborough to Edinburgh. It has gone back to London King’s Cross and will be used in Leeds tomorrow at a special event there.

The specially-designed East Coast locomotive number 91 111, named ‘For The Fallen’, carries a livery filled with images, stories and tributes to regiments and people who served in them across the East Coast route.

The locomotive entered service on the flagship Newcastle to London and Edinburgh route a couple of weeks ago following a poignant dedication ceremony at Newcastle Central Station, witnessed by civic and military leaders and veterans and serving soldiers.

East Coast enlisted the help of five iconic regiments from key locations along the East Coast Main Line to commemorate the sacrifices made by their forebears, and to tell some of the human stories behind the conflict.

Some of our photos can be seen here but there is a larger collection on our Facebook page.

The insignia of the Tyneside Scottish, an honorary title currently maintained by 204 (Tyneside Scottish) Battery Royal Artillery of the 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery, was the first of the five to be unveiled on the locomotive.

The rail industry is marking this year’s centenary of the outbreak of World War One in several ways, and East Coast’s ‘For The Fallen’ locomotive will be a visible reminder of the conflict, and those who shaped its outcome, to millions of passengers on one of the nation’s busiest long distance lines. No fewer than 700,000 people worked on Britain’s railways 100 years ago: 20,000 of them died after volunteering to serve in the Great War.

Within eight weeks of war being declared, 750,000 men had volunteered to join Field Marshal Earl Kitchener of Khartoum’s new army, many responding to Alfred Leefe’s famous September 1914 poster bearing Kitchener’s face and the statement ‘Your Country Needs You’.

Four Tyneside Scottish battalions were formed as part of Kitchener’s new army: it is estimated that a total of 2,286 Tyneside Scottish soldiers were killed during the war, the majority at the Somme.

Today, the Tyneside Scottish is an honorary title maintained by the 204 (Tyneside Scottish) Battery of the 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery.

The dedication ceremony for Loco 91 111 in Newcastle follows the introduction in 2011 of East Coast’s popular policy of train namings to promote the people and places, communities and heritage on its flagship route.

‘For The Fallen’ joins sister East Coast electric locomotive 91 110 ‘Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’, which features the insignia of the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (RAF BBMF) and its three famous World War Two aircraft – the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster.

East Coast’s ‘For The Fallen’ locomotive will be at the heart of further events in the coming months as further regimental insignia joins that of the Tyneside Scottish in its unique and thought-provoking livery.