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Second World War 1939-1945

Railway employees serving in Australia's military forces

Once again, many railway employees enlisted with military forces. In this conflict, railwaymen served in all three forces – the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force – and sadly there were losses in each service.
There was no single Honour Roll published after this war, however our researchers have compiled a list from public memorials, museums, references in journals, and personal recollections. Rail Heritage WA archives would always be interested to receive additional information.

WA railways' contribution

Those who remained, and the rail systems themselves, played a greater role in transport during the 1939-45 war, with the military's needs met by numerous special trains and in some cases by replacing or delaying ordinary traffic.

Railway workshops, particularly that at Midland Junction, were partly diverted to military uses including the manufacture of large numbers of shells for the Army.
Women also were willing and were accepted to contribute in a wider range of roles, and some lost their lives such as in nursing ranks.

The role of WA's railways in the Second World War is documented in the book "Troops, Trades and Trains" by Philippa Rogers, available in libraries and from the Rail Heritage WA bookshop or online: online here

Post 1945 conflicts

It is believed that WA railway employees have again joined military forces during conflicts in Vietnam and other Asian operations.

Further information

Rail Heritage WA would always be grateful to receive information to add to or correct details recorded here. Please contact via the Railway Museum, 136 Railway Parade, Bassendean WA or email our Archivist.