Arthur Talbott Oram at Paddington Station, London 1869-1873

Arthur T Oram with London Friends

Arthur: Great Western Railway Company

Arthur was the second member of the family to be employed by the Great Western Railway Company.  Earlier in the 1860’s Arthur’s eldest brother John Samuel had been an engineering apprentice at the GWR Swindon works.

In January 1869 John recorded in his diary “Sent off Arthur’s application and testimonials.” Later John outlined his journey to London when he left Burrishoole with Arthur on 15 July 1869. In London “Arthur under examination for clerkship at Paddington”.  John arrived home on 22 July “Leaving Arthur clerk at Paddington”.

In February 1873 John decided to move to a farm Slinsfold in Sussex.  On 11 July (see below) Arthur resigned from GWR and on 16 July John remarked “Arthur came from England”.   John, his wife Jane and Arthur’s siblings, except the eldest John Samuel moved to Sussex in October 1873.  Most of John’s work was taken over by 20 year old Arthur and his contemporary William Rose who lived in the family’s old home at  Burrishoole Farmhouse.

Arthur: Lodgings and 1871 Census in London

On 19 July, after Arthur had been accepted by the GWR, John reported “Examination continued and concluded, to Hanwell and back”.  No doubt this was to see Arthur’s lodgings as, in the 1871 census returns Arthur was a ‘lodger’ with labourer Robert Turner and his family at 6, Heath Cottages, Boston Road, Hanwell, about six miles west of Paddington.  Arthur gave his birthplace as Blandford rather than Iwerne in Dorset; these two places are only about 6 miles apart. Source:

Arthur’s employment record at The Great Western Railway Company 

There are three images of documents held by the National Archives at Kew and available on the ancestry website that relate to Arthur’s employment by the Great Western Railway Company at Paddington station.

  1. An entry in ‘The Great Western Railway Company’s Register of Clerks’ showing that Arthur at 16 years of age on 21 July 1869 entered the Passengers Department at Paddington. His starting salary was £20 rising to £30 in July 1870, £40 in July 1871 and £50 in July 1872. His ‘date and cause of leaving the Company’s service’ was “Resigned 11th July 1873”
  2. An entry in the ‘Register of Clerks in the Service of the Great Western Railway’ showing that Arthur joined the Audit Department at the age of 16 in July 1869 at a starting salary of  £20 that was increased to £30 on 21 July 1870.  The comment in the far right column is “Transferred to Lad Clerks Register folio 164”
  3. An entry in the ‘Register of Lads Clerks in the service of the Great Western Railway Company’ repeating information on starting date, salary and resignation given above.

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