The Death of King George V, 1936

Dennis Pepper talking about King George V's Funeral Train

The Royal Train carrying the King's body passed through Meldreth

By Kathryn Betts

King George V died at Sandringham in 1936.  His death was mentioned in the school log book on 21st January:

Photo:Extract from Meldreth School log book, 21st January 1936

Extract from Meldreth School log book, 21st January 1936

Photograph courtesy of Meldreth Primary School

Two days later it was recorded that the children and teachers had gone to the station to witness the passing of the royal train carrying the King's body:

Photo:Extract from Meldreth School log book, January 1936

Extract from Meldreth School log book, January 1936

Photograph courtesy of Meldreth Primary School

In 2007, Dennis Pepper recalled watching this train:

Photo:Dennis Pepper, pictured at Meldreth Primary School in 1928

Dennis Pepper, pictured at Meldreth Primary School in 1928

Photograph supplied by Ann Handscombe

George V died suddenly while he was at Sandringham and this railway line here was used regularly by members of the Royal Family and other notable people going to Sandringham.  They used to come this way through from King’s Cross to Cambridge and so on.  The whole school went down and we stood on the platform in very quiet subdued rows and stood with our caps off as the funeral train went by taking his body back in to London a day or so after he died in Sandringham.  I’ll always remember that train.  It was absolutely polished and there wasn’t a speck of dust on it, not really a puff of steam and it glided past through the station, past the platform at I suppose about twenty miles an hour or something like that and hardly made a sound.  It was a wonderful engine, a steam one of course.  We all stood on the platform and watched it go by and we didn’t see anything or anybody.   The curtains were all drawn but I think there were quite a lot of people who were from Sandringham who were on it and the Queen was on there and all the rest of the royal people. 

On 28th January the funeral of King George V took place at Windsor and pupils attended a memorial service (see below).

Photo:Extract from Meldreth School log book, 28th January 1936

Extract from Meldreth School log book, 28th January 1936

Photograph courtesy of Meldreth Primary School

This page was added by Kathryn Betts on 06/12/2010.

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