Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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HomePeopleNew blue plaque set to hail Bridlington railway war hero

New blue plaque set to hail Bridlington railway war hero

A tribute to a World War Two railway hero is set to be unveiled at one of Northern’s East Yorkshire stations.  

The train operator, alongside  the Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership will honour courageous ticket collector Ernest Barker with a blue plaque.  

The heroic railway worker saved lives by battling a fire after a bomb hit the station yard close to a train carriage full of ammunition. 

His brave act was carried out on 11th July 1941 as an unexpected raid by a German bomber caused devastation on nearby Hilderthorpe Road. Five people died as blasts destroyed buildings. 

But just a few hundred yards away another bomb was close to causing more carnage. Bridlington railway station yard was also hit – and a fire broke out on a train carriage full of ammunition.  

Barker ran to the scene and fought the blaze as his colleagues worked on the fires nearby and thankfully extinguished it, saving many lives of the people in the nearby buildings. 

He became one of the first people to receive the new George Medal. His story has come to light thanks to the research of local historian Richard Jones.  

Tony Baxter, regional director at Northern said: “This is a wonderful way to pay tribute to a local hero and the heritage of Bridlington station and we are delighted to be a part of this community project.” 

Northern has also published a map showing the locations of the other historical sites across its stations – perfect for passengers looking to explore more of the train operator’s network.  

Often hidden in plain sight among the hustle and bustle of the station environment, some blue plaques celebrate railway heritage while others commemorate historical figures and unsung heroes – and there is even one honouring a fictional sleuth. 

Photo credit: Northern

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