People and Places gallery heading 1901: Living at the Time of the Census People and Places

The Railwayman

The Railwayman  

This photograph show David Hughes, the driver of the Great Western Railway (GWR) train that carried the body of Queen Victoria from Paddington to Windsor on 2 February 1901.

Follow this link to Queen Victoria's funeral train.

David Hughes, driver of Queen Victoria's funeral train  -  link to an enlarged version


  Entry for David Hughes in Great Western Railway staff register   - link to an enlarged version

Finding the record of this particular David Hughes is not easy. Railway staff records held at The National Archives are notoriously difficult to use as there are no comprehensive indexes of the names of the employees of any particular company. There are 110 registers of drivers and firemen who worked for the GWR between 1841 and 1941 and these contain the records of seven-named David Hughes. A process of elimination shows that the entry below is the most likely candidate for the driver of Queen Victoria's funeral train.


Follow this link for more on tracing railway workers.

His staff records show that Hughes was born in 1844 and joined the GWR as an engine cleaner, based at Chester, in 1864. By 1866 he had been promoted to fireman, on 3s a day, and his pay nearly doubled to 5s 6d when he moved to Corwen in North Wales in 1873 as an engineman. A transfer to Southall in London in 1884 brought promotion to engineman 2nd class, and, by 1889, Hughes had reached the top of his profession as an engineman 1st class, based at Paddington station, on the princely salary of 8s a day. He returned to Corwen in 1903 and retired in 1906, when he was awarded a £40 gratuity. Staff registers also include medical history and a detailed record of any reprimands or fines made and any commendations received.

1901 Census entry for David Hughes and his family  -  link to an enlarged version

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