This weekend, 7 and 8 July, sees the final opportunity to visit the Edith Cavell and the Unknown Warrior train carriage at Arley Train Station on the Severn Valley Railway. Visited by hundreds during its 6-week visit, the Cavell Van was brought to the Severn Valley Railway as part of the Worcestershire World War One Hundred programme.
Part of the commemorations to mark the centenary of the end of World War I, and a key feature of the Severn Valley Railway’s Step Back to the 1940s Weekends in June and July, the van has played a poignant role in Britain’s history. In 1919, it was used to bring back the body of nurse Edith Cavell from Belgium where she had helped 200 Prisoners of War escape, before she was caught and executed. The following year, the same wagon transported the body of the ‘Unknown Warrior’ prior to a funeral at Westminster Abbey, representing the many who died without being identified.
During the weekend, at Arley Station, passengers will experience WWI (and WWII) Medical Dressing Stations; vintage caravan and vehicle display; weapons display; homeguard demonstration drill; an opportunity to view the Station’s reclaimed Anderson Air Raid Shelter dug in to then garden behind platform 2; and the opportunity to become ‘guests’ at two wartime weddings. Preceding the weddings at Arley there will be a commemorative event at the Cavell Van to mark to ending of World War One, 100 years ago.
Adrian Gregson, Worcestershire World War One Hundred Project Manager said: “Hundreds of people have been able to visit the Cavell Van whilst it has been at Arley many of them leaving moving comments of remembrance in the visitor’s book.
“We are delighted to have worked with Severn Valley Railway Trust, Kent and East Sussex Railway and the Cavell Trust to bring the Cavell Van to Worcestershire. I hope people don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Cavell Van over this last weekend of its stay in the County.”
For further information on the Heritage Lottery Funded Worcestershire World War One Hundred programme visit www.ww1worcestershire.co.uk