News 10 November 2023

Derwent Valley Line adopters attend Routes of Remembrance service

On Friday 10 November, Station Adopters from the Derwent Valley Line joined East Midlands Railway staff and other Community Rail Partnerships at Derby station for a Service of Remembrance.

EMR’s Routes of Remembrance project in support of The Veteran’s Charity is now in its third year. The project sees communities and Community Rail Partnerships creating tributes to the fallen of all conflicts through the arts; contributors are invited to a Service of Remembrance to mark Armistice Day, where their creative tributes are displayed.

Station Adoption groups travelled by train on the Derwent Valley Line, bringing wreaths to lay as part of the service. Chaplain Colin Fraser led the service, and as wreaths were laid Paul Mobbs, Station Duty Manager at Derby station, read the poem “It took Every Soldier”. The poem was written by Station Adopters and Community Rail Officers at a Routes of Remembrance workshop earlier this year, facilitated by writer Via Macnab.

It Took Every Soldier poem video

Play Video

It Took Every Soldier

Soldiers line up at the station, soon to fight for their nation

Wheels greased and engines fire, duckling carriages warned of mire

All in uniform, harsh and stiff, polished boots, new leather, no give

What awaits they do not know, only to defeat the foe

Soldiers line up at the station, soon to fight for their nation

Glancing up and down the line, all this will end by Christmas time

The train begins to pull away, Oh how she wishes he could stay

No letter, no whisper, no sign of return, heart for her hero begins to yearn

Soldiers line up at the station, soon to fight for their nation

Hissing engines, coaches sway, taking soldiers on their way

King and Country, proud to serve, but wartime is a learning curve

Flag-waving children watch in awe, they can’t understand the truth of war

Soldiers line up at the station, soon to fight for their nation

While young men go to join the platoons, the platform fills with children soon

“Mummy, where did Daddy go? Are we going to get him?” “No.”

Families divided by sorrowful partings, to mobilise to evacuate. Wartime starting

Brings fears unknown and country life, far from bombs but not from strife

Soldiers line up at the station, soon to fight for their nation

“Last time I was here was with our Peggy, getting the Sunday train to Skeggy”

How do you think it’ll be when we arrive? You don’t think there’s a chance we won’t come back alive?”

“Nah mate. Over by Christmas. We’ll be fine. You’ll be back on the train to the seaside next summer, having a lovely time.”

Soldiers line up at the station, humans, machines; all fought for their nation

For families ripped apart by war, The railway station: the guardian’s door.


Poem written by Charlotte Bishop, Dawn Branton, Megan Carroll, Gin Fidlin, Jackie Griffiths, Caroline Judson, Diana MacNee, Nancy Roberts Gordon, Claire Sandys, Gine Spillane and Alexa Stott, arranged by Olivia MacNab. A collaboration by EMR Station Adopters, Staff and Community Rail Partners and creative writer Olivia MacNab.


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