Text and research by Mike Lattimer
The steam engine number 333, named Remembrance, was built at the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) works at Brighton in 1922. It bore a bronze plaque that read:
IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE
OF THE 532 MEN OF THE
L.B. & S.C. RLY WHO GAVE THEIR
LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY
As its name implies, the LBSCR operated an extensive network of lines radiating south from the London termini of Victoria and London Bridge to Brighton, its hub on the south coast of England. Much of the network was in the London suburbs and eastern Surrey, with most of the remainder in Sussex.
Remembrance was the last of seven “L” Class tank engines, which first appeared in April 1914. Designed by Lawson Billinton (1882-1954), they were very stable, fast and powerful engines tasked to handle the heavy passenger trains between London and Brighton. After the lines to Brighton and Eastbourne were electrified, these tank engines were rebuilt in 1934, with tenders added, as Class “N-15X” to work out of Waterloo towards Southampton. The rebuilt Remembrance was renumbered 2333 and retained its memorial plaque.
At the end of 1932, steam locomotives were withdrawn from regular service between London and Brighton. Remembrance was the engine which pulled the last steam ‘Southern Belle’ from Victoria on 31 December that year, departing at 3.05pm.
Remembrance was withdrawn from service at Brighton on 4 April 1956. Its plaque is now held at the National Railway Museum, York.
Sources (all accessed November 2016)
http://www.semgonline.com/steam/lclass(lbsc)_01.html & http://www.semgonline.com/steam/n15xclass_01.html
‘Tolling the Belles of Change with the Dawning of a new Year: the Last Steam Hauled “Southern Belle”‘, Locomotive Journal (Brighton Branch), June 1932, at http://thebrightonbranchofaslef.yolasite.com/tollingthe-belles-of-change.php