Soham wartime hero James Nightall’s posthumously awarded George Cross will be unveiled when the 70th anniversary of the rail disaster that almost wiped out the town is commemorated on Tuesday.
It will be the centrepiece of a special commemoration organised by Soham Museum remembering the June night in 1944 when the town was saved from destruction by the heroics of Mr Nightall and three others who steered a burning train packed with explosives away from the station.
The event, at The Brook in Brook Street, will also see Mr Nightall’s London and North-Eastern Railway and Order of Industrial Heroism medals, a plaque and photographs of the wreckage, previously held by Soham Village College, unveiled.
Speakers will include historian Colin Holmes and museum chairman, Donna Martin, while Cambridgeshire folk singer, John Rees, will perform a specially written song.
A model layout of the scene will be provided by the Ely and District Model Railway Club. Admission is £1.
Mr Nightall, who was just 22, and signalman Frank Bridges, were both killed. The other two men involved in the heroic action were train driver Ben Gimbert and guard Herbert Clark.