Railway Stockdills

Stockdill railway station

Stockdill railwaymenTop: a timetable from 1958 showing a station on a remote branch line in Saskatchewan called Stockdill; above: a page from my printed family history of articles associated with the Railway Stockdills

How many families can claim they have had a railway station named after them?

Above is a Canadian Pacific timetable, showing a station called Stockdill which once existed on a remote branch line in Saskatchewan. The station was named after Charles Ernest Stockdill (1881-1960), a descendant of the Yorkshire Stockdills, who joined the Canadian Pacific Railway as a 15-year-old messenger boy, worked for the railroad for 50 years and rose to become assistant to the vice-president of the CPR at Winnipeg.

The station was little more than a halt in a fairly remote rural area and operated from 1932-1962, when it closed. It must have been an extremely slow train because the timetable shows that it took eight hours to travel just over 62 miles!

Charles Ernest Stockdill descended from a branch of the Stockdills of Morley, Yorkshire, and was a great grandson of John Stockdill (1791-1868), who was an elder brother of my great grandfather Robert Stockdill (1806-1896), both of whom were born at Easingwold, some 15 miles north of York.

John had a son, Richard Stockdill, born at Morley in 1821, who like his father and Uncle Robert was a carpenter. As a young man Richard went to London, where he worked for many years for the London & South-Western Railway Co. from joining the company in 1846 to his retirement in 1886, rising to foreman of the Carriage Department at Nine Elms. He married a lady called Aretia Browne and they had a number of children, including Frederick Stockdill, who was born at Lambeth, south London, in 1851. After retiring frrom the railways, Richard became a shopkeeper at Clapham. Richard died in 1892 and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, north London.

Frederick Stockdill followed his father into the railway industry and in 1878 he migrated to North America, where he worked first for a railroad in Boston and then moved to Canada to work for the CPR. He rose in the company, worked for the railroad for 50 years and ended up as assistant signals engineer in Montreal, eventually retiring to Victoria on Vancouver Island.

Charles Ernest Stockdill, after whom the rural station was named, was a son of Frederick Stockdill, so between them the Stockdill father-and-son team gave exceedingly valuable service to the Canadian Pacific Railway for a great many years.

Other members of the London Stockdill family also worked for the London & South-Western Railway, including three sons of Richard Stockdill, two grandsons and a great grandson, producing a dynasty that lasted for around 100 years.  Richard’s great grandson, Frederick Ralph Stockdill (1905-1971) entered the company’s service in 1921 and became Assistant Accountant after it had become the Southern Railway.

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