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Soldiers and Sailors Buffet at Paddington Station, 1919

Soldiers and Sailors Buffet at Paddington Station, 1919


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Filename: P4 046.jpg

Size: 2817 x 2064 (646KB)

Date: 20th February 2007

Source: STEAM Museum of the GWR

© STEAM Museum of the GWR

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Soldiers and Sailors Buffet at Paddington Station, 1919

A shot capturing the last servicemen to be offered refreshments at the Soldiers and Sailors Free Buffet at Paddington Station on 28th June 1919. The forces canteen opened in April 1915 to offer sustenance to the servicemen who passed through Paddington during the war years. It was staffed day and night by a dedicated group of more than 80 female volunteers who, during the four years that the Buffet was open, served refreshments to more than 3 million men. The soldier sitting in the corner seat was himself a Great Western man, possibly on his journey home from active duty

STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway

Media ID 413783

© STEAM Museum of the GWR

Buffet First World War Paddington Refreshment Women


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> People > Passengers

> People > Women

> The Railway at War > First World War

> Stations and Halts > London Stations > Paddington Station


EDITORS COMMENTS
This poignant print captures a significant moment in history - the last servicemen being offered refreshments at the Soldiers and Sailors Free Buffet at Paddington Station on 28th June 1919. Opened in April 1915, this forces canteen served as a vital source of sustenance for countless servicemen passing through Paddington during the war years. Manned by over 80 dedicated female volunteers, who tirelessly worked day and night, this buffet became an oasis of comfort for more than 3 million men. In this particular shot, we see a soldier sitting in the corner seat, possibly on his journey home from active duty. His weary expression tells tales of sacrifice and bravery endured during those tumultuous years. It is worth noting that he was himself a Great Western man - perhaps finding solace amidst familiar surroundings after serving his country with honor. The women who staffed this buffet were unsung heroes themselves, providing not just nourishment but also warmth and compassion to these brave soldiers returning from battlefields far away. Their selfless dedication ensured that these servicemen felt cared for and appreciated even in their most vulnerable moments. This print serves as a powerful reminder of the immense impact made by ordinary individuals coming together to support those fighting for freedom during World War I. The Soldiers and Sailors Buffet stands as a testament to human resilience, unity, and unwavering gratitude towards our armed forces.

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