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RLY Ambulance Trains

by gmractiondesk

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Cyril Powell
Location of story: 
Victoria Station, Manchester
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
03 August 2005

I can remember the first doodlebugs. I was on nights at the time. I heard them pass over Victoria Street before falling. This was in 1944. I was working on the railway at Victoria Station, and I was 17 years old. Hospital trains used to come into Victoria Station at around 1am and 2am on the long platform, No11, which connected Manchester Victoria and Manchester Exchange. The trains were around 12 coaches long and had been specially adapted for stretchers. The wounded were taken off the trains and lined up on the platform. Ambulances would drive onto the platform and load up. Single-decker buses would take the walking wounded. They would then drive along the No11 platform and go out at Manchester Exchange. By 4am, you wouldn't know anything had ever been there.
PS When I walked along the platform, the soldiers would ask where they were. There were also wounded German prisoners, still in their uniforms. These trains came after D-Day.

Cyril Powell
0161 485 3128

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