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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Unseen photos from the Coronation released by SWR for the first anniversary

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South Western Railway (SWR) has released new, unseen photos ahead of the first anniversary of the Coronation of Their Majesties The King and Queen.

The photos provide a behind-the-scenes look as over 5,000 Armed Forces personnel from the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Commonwealth arrived at London Waterloo station for their ceremonial duties.

Pipes and drums on platform.

It was the largest movement of service personnel by train since the State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. Nine trains were involved, including seven SWR services and two private chartered services.

The SWR services arrived from Armed Forces bases in Aldershot, Alton and Fareham.

Delivering the Armed Forces safely and on time took months of joint planning by SWR and Network Rail, working alongside the Ministry of Defence and partners such as the British Transport Police.

As well as the Coronation service in Westminster Abbey, SWR supported the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle, organising additional trains for its Windsor & Eton Riverside station.

RAF on Waterloo concourse.

Ross Liddell, head of operational readiness who coordinated operations for South Western Railway, commented:

“It was the biggest privilege of my working career to be able to lead such a fantastic team here at SWR, as we put the plans in place to transport members of the Armed Forces into London for their ceremonial activities to support the Coronation; twice if you include the rehearsal.

“It was an absolutely first-class team who put in so much effort to ensure that it was safe and successful, allowing the Armed Forces to do what they needed to do.”

Image credit: SWR

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