In the January 2012 edition of History Lines Rob Davison had mentioned finding the GWR Roll of Honour in the Dean Forest Railway museum. He noted that this Roll was more comprehensive than the one displayed at Moor Street Station, Birmingham. Unlike the one in the station this included one railway policeman – H.E.B. Miller (see First World War RoH).


This item inspired Bob Butcher to write the following in March 20102 edition:

Bob Davison raises an interesting point regarding the GWR Roll of Honour. The recently published The Great Western Railway in the First World War by Sandra Gittins contains a comprehensive GWR Roll of Honour. It lists nine as ‘policeman’ and two as ‘constable’ belonging variously to the traffic, goods or passenger departments. This was because the uniformed police on the GWR at that time did not form a separate body but were employed by different departments so that their names were included under those departments.

However there was a Special Police Department of plain clothes detectives and ‘Police Detective’ Herbert Ed Bowen Miller of Paddington, was apparently the only member of that department to be killed (he actually died of his wounds).

“Military Service”

Railway police were exempt from military service during World War 2 so that the only railway police officers serving in HM forces would have been pre war reservists who had been recalled to the colours on the outbreak of war. I don’t think that there were too many of them so that a Railway Police Roll of Honour for that war would probably not be very long. Police killed on duty during the air raids on the UK should be included though (see Second World War RoH). I know of three officers from the LNER who were recalled, one from the Southern and about six from the LMS but this is not of course, a comprehensive list. All survived the war.

It is interesting to note that when exemption was removed from the ordinary police in 1942, railway police continued to be exempt for the remainder of the war. I have not researched the question but I guess that the order removing exemption used the term ‘members of police forces’ without realising that the term did not apply to railway or dock police.


Extract from the March 2012 edition of History Lines (No. 31) 


Dean Forest Railway Museum Trust