Apedale trenches remember The Battle of the Somme

The Statfold Barn Railway’s Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0WT No. 1643 of 1930 No. GP39 – in Surrey County Council Highways Department bright maroon livery, but representative of a type that worked the WW1 trench railways – passes a Simplex marooned in a bomb crater, which has been cordoned off by barbed wire . ROBIN JONES

BRILLIANT sunshine brought crowds flocking to Staffordshire’s Apedale Valley Light Railway during the weekend of May 13-15 for the second First World War-themed Tracks to the Trenches event.

The venue is unique in that it has recreated a First World War field railway on which both steam locomotives and Motor-Rail Simplex petrol tractors – developed by the Bedfordshire company for the Western Front as plumes of smoke from steam engines would betray their locations to the Germans – can be operated in an authentic setting.

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