gwr_casulaties_project_james_farrA valuable resource for family historians, railway and social history historians. The project is based on the information taken from the GWR magazine from 1914-1920 and includes information about individual servicemen, many with photos, who worked for the Great Western Railway and who lost their lives in the First World War. The Flickr page, and available Access database for this project offers a mine of information.

The database will allow you to extract data for specific projects or subjects [database design © Ruth Wood 2011] either for an individual, a location, department etc. At present there are almost two thousand servicemen in the database, who worked for the GWR, from Guernsey to Shrewsbury and from Paddington to St Ives. Both the Flickr page and the database are free to use and you can request a copy of the database to be sent by email or on CD. A contribution towards postage is appreciated and can be donated to help for heroes and/or the Royal British Legion.

The GWR casualties project came about when browsing the image sets for Swindon Libraries on Swindon Library had begun their own project, scanning the GWR magazine which published lists, and in most cases, photos, of men who were employed by the GWR and who had died in the Great War. Ms Cole had identified those working at Swindon, and with the permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, had included other information such as service number etc.

I came to the conclusion that if others could search for their relatives it would offer a great deal of information, as well as basic data such as date of death, regiment etc. I contacted Katherine to explain what I wanted to do and to check that I wasn't breaching any copyright permissions as regards the photos and/or information provided by the GWR magazine.

The bulleted list below shows the various stages from downloading the GWR magazine pages and uploading to the GWR project page on

  • download the large version of the magazine from Swindon libraries flickr page.
  • open in photo editor and crop, cut and save individual photos of serviceman in folders ready for uploading.
  • save the information for each serviceman in the GWR Access database, which includes service no, date of death, occupation, department and location eg carriage builder, carriage works, Old Oak Common etc.
  • Upload individual photos to GWR flickr page, and include other information.

Anyone can view the photos shown below on the GWR flickr site at and can request a copy of the database by email or post. [a contribution to postage/blank cd is appreciated]

What information can be gleaned from the project?

As well as the basic info of name and occupation, there is often additional information which has been taken from other resources such as the CWGC or family members who have offered additional information. Below is a list of the information that is available on many of the servicemen's records in the database.
1. first name and initials
2. surname
3. occupation in GWR
4. department that he worked in
5. location eg Paddington Goods
6. age
7. service number
8. date of death
9. regiment
10. battalion/brigade etc
11. parents/next of kin's address
12. sometimes the wife or mother's maiden name is also given
13. memorial/cemetery location and memorial ref
14. details of medals awarded.


Ruth Wood 2011.

Any queries can be directed via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the Flickr site

To view the images below full screen in a slideshow please use the "expand" icon. To return to this page, please press the "Esc" key on your keyboard. Please note all images are copyright © Rurth Wood GWR Casulaties project


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