Harry was born in 1859, the third of ten children of William and Mary Ann Saward. His father was, for many years, station master at Audley End in Essex. Harry started working for the Great Eastern Railway in 1872 as a probationary telegraph clerk at Audley End, then became goods clerk and booking clerk there. In 1877 he became booking clerk at Huntingdon, then Whittlesea in 1878, Downham 1879 and March 1880. In the 1881 census, he appears twice, as a railway clerk, boarding with a railway colleague in March and as a visitor in the household headed by 21 year old Sarah E Hughes, a farmer of 72 acres. Whilst at March, he worked as district relieving clerk and in 1898 became stationmaster at Fordham where he stayed for only four months before becoming station master at Wolferton, selected for the position out of 120 applicants. In June 1884 whilst at Fordham, he married Sarah Elizabeth Hughes from Whittlesea.She worked as waiting room attendant at Wolferton for over 40 years and as postmistress at Wolferton according to the 1901 census. Harry and Sarah had three daughters.

Harry retired from Wolferton in 1924 after what must have been an interesting and responsible career. The retirement article in the Great Eastern magazine refers to him being “the proud possessor of quite a large array of medals” he and his wife then lived in the old Church farmhouse at Wolferton provided by His Majesty the King. Harry died in 1932; the Lynn News and County press tribute refers to the many sovereigns, monarchs and statesmen he received at the station and the high esteem in which he was held by the distinguished visitors who passed through Wolferton, messages of sympathy were sent by the King and Queen and Princess Victoria to the bereaved relatives. Harry is buried in Wolferton churchyard with his wife Sarah who died in 1943.

Information prepared by Penny Coe of Cambridge

Harry was my great, great uncle, brother of my great grandfather Willie Simmons Saward, who with his wife Margaret Agnes (nee Batterbee) had the pork butchers shop Batterbee and Co in Tower street, King’s Lynn.

Photographs by kind permission of The Great Eastern Railway Magazine