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Female Railway Workers in WWII

Price £19.99


During World War II women took on railway roles which were completely new to females. They worked as porters and guards, on the permanent way, and in maintenance and workshop operations. In this hardback book, the author Susan Major features the voices of women talking about their wartime railway experiences, using interviews by the Friends of the National Railway Museum.

A number of women who worked on the Somerset & Dorset are featured in this book including:-

Joyce Bell who worked as a lengthwoman on the line from Highbridge to Evercreech. Redundant when men were demobbed at end of war.

Freda Box was a crossing keeper with husband at Bruton Crossing from 1938. Her husband was called up in 1940, so they left, but returned in 1947, until the crossing closed in 1964.

Norah Cook started working for the railway in 1942, as a passenger clerk at Highbridge Station. She had to move on in 1946 when men came back but got a similar job at Shapwick. Then transferred to Highbridge Goods Office. Had married a driver by this time. Eventually had to leave as cattle cake dust led to her asthma.

Betty Cox started at Evercreech Junction as the first girl porter there in 1940. Later two more joined. She left when the men came back.

Doris Dunning’s her first husband was a ganger who was killed. She later married another railway worker and worked as an oiler and greaser around Highbridge.

Phyllis Parsons worked as a passenger guard at Templecombe, joining in 1944. Left on her 20th birthday when she was called up, after less than two years on the railway.

Emily Poole started as a booking clerk at Evercreech New in 1941, then moved to Shepton Mallet in 1942, first as a goods clerk, later as a booking and parcels clerk.