A hundred years ago Britain stood on the brink of a world war that was to take the country to the limits of its capabilities. For this war the railways were fundamental to the war effort at home. The Great Western Railway played a significant role in maintaining the flow of people and goods, including military personnel and equipment. Although the railways were taken under government control during World War 1 the Great Western Railway largely maintained its own character which continued when the railways were grouped under the control of the Big Four companies in 1923. Two decades later the country was at war again and the GWR was called on once more to help the war effort. The difference this time was that the railways were directly targetted by the enemy as their aircraft reached far into Britain. At the end of the war the railways were facing financial ruin and were shortly afterwards nationalised. The STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway at Swindon has built up an unparalleled archive of photographs of the history of the GWR. Accompanying the informative text about the impact of the two world wars on the GWR, photographs from the archive bring to life the remarkable effort the railways put into ultimate victory as well as showing graphically the very considerable difficulties that the railway had to endure not to mention the cost to life and limb.