TransPennine Express (TPE), together with the Royal British Legion (RBL) have launched a specially decorated train that honours two Greater Manchester men who were awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War.
It is the third year that TPE have worked with the RBL to produce a specially decorated train, and this year it was an honour to be able to pay respects to two Greater Manchester men who earned the Victoria Cross during World War One, and then went on to work on the railway in the North West.
Ernest Sykes, from Mossley, was awarded the medal for his actions on April 9 1917, for “most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty” – under heavy fire he rescued four wounded men, and then went back to bandage up those who were too badly wounded to be moved. Ernest survived the war, and went on to work at Mossley railway station where a plaque was erected in his honour in 2004.
Wilfred Wood, from Stockport, was awarded the medal for his actions on October 28 1918, for “most conspicuous bravery and initiative…causing 300 enemy to surrender”. After the war Wilfred worked on the railway as a fireman, locomotive driver, and supervisor. A Locomotive was named after him in 1922.
Paul Staples, TPE Fleet Director, officially launched the train at Manchester Piccadilly alongside the RBL, members of the Manchester Regiment, and members of Ernest's and Wilfred's family.