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Bernard Holden


"Bernard Holden, who has died aged 104, devoted his life to railways: as a manager with the Southern and British Railways; operating trains close to the Japanese front line during the Burma campaign; and helping save the Bluebell Railway, a heritage steam line in Sussex."

During the Second World War he was constantly rerouting trains to avoid bombed out lines and get vital supplies into London. He then went to India, to help stop the Japanese invasion.

On his return, he helped to found and to lead for fifty years the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society, "which now attracts 170,000 visitors each year, has a turnover exceeding £3 million, a core of full-time staff, 700 volunteers and 10,000 members, three Victorian stations, and an award-winning collection of historic locomotives, carriages and wagons".

In 1992, when Bernard was 84, The Queen appointed him MBE for his services to railroad preservation, and told him to “keep up the good work”. He did.

What a bright, glad man he was.

Ave atque Vale.

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