A crucial war may rage in Eastern Europe, but railway chiefs yesterday remembered those who died much closer to home.
A century ago, four years after the end of the Great War, London Waterloo Station’s Victory Arch was opened as a tribute to the railway staff who fought and died for their country.
Yesterday (Monday 21 March) the arch was inaugurated by Pastor Christopher Henley, Railway Chaplain, supported by a host of senior colleagues from London and South Western Railway’s successors at Network Rail and South Western Railway, along with those from the Railway Heritage Trust, British Transport Police and the Armed Forces.
Network Rail Southern Region CEO John Halsall said: “Most people traveling through Waterloo probably do not think about Victory Arch for a moment, but you only need to stop and look at the names to see the extent of the loss. of human life, and the great sacrifices made by the people of the railway and their families. By rededicating the arch today, we pay tribute not only to them, but to all those who lost their lives in war. I am proud to work for the same railway that They did.”
South Western Railways CEO Claire Mann said: “Today I brought home to me how all of us who work in the railway industry carry on a tradition and follow in the footsteps of thousands of people before us. Rededication of Victory Arch and Seeing the names on the walls reinforce how special this is. It is important that we not only reflect on the past, but that we use it to inspire us to carry on the tradition of selflessness and dedication that our predecessors had. “
Victory Arch was designed by JR Scott, LSWR’s Chief Architect, and was built of Portland stone and bronze. It depicts War and Peace, with Britannia holding the torch of freedom above. The Arch of Victory, which leads from Station Approach to the foyer, forms the main entrance to Waterloo.
Victory Arch is the only part of London Waterloo station listed as Class 1.
Waterloo Station was extensively rebuilt from efficiently four stations into one. Nicholas Grimshaw’s International Terminal was added to the North Side in the 1990s.
From July 2012, a balcony on the first floor helped reduce congestion at the London Olympics.