First NHS Baby Names Train in Honour of Aneurin Bevan: A Tribute to the NHS’s 75th Anniversary

First NHS Baby Names Train in Honour of Aneurin Bevan: A Tribute to the NHS’s 75th Anniversary

…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media. Aneira Thomas, the first baby to be born on the NHS, has chosen to name a Great Western Railway (GWR) train after Aneurin Bevan, in commemoration of the National Health Service’s 75th anniversary.


The unveiling ceremony took place in Newport, Wales, on Tuesday, marking a significant milestone for both Aneira and the NHS.

Aneira Thomas, the First NHS Baby:

Born at one minute past midnight on July 5, 1948, Aneira Thomas holds the distinction of being the first baby born under the NHS.

Her parents named her after Aneurin Bevan, the Welsh politician who played a pivotal role as the Minister for Health in the establishment of the NHS in 1948.


Train-Naming Ceremony and Symbolism:

Aneira traveled from her home in Swansea to Newport for the train-naming ceremony, as Newport is the nearest station to Aneurin Bevan’s Ebbw Vale constituency and the birthplace of Tredegar.

The Aneurin Bevan train then embarked on a journey to London Paddington, with a stop at Swindon in Wiltshire, acknowledging the town’s significant contribution to the NHS’s formation through its railway industry.

Aneira’s Honored Reaction:

Having dedicated her career to the NHS as a mental health nurse and authored the successful novel “Hold on Edna,” Aneira expressed her gratitude and pride in having a train named after Aneurin Bevan.

She considered it a great honor to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the NHS with the Aneurin Bevan train, symbolizing the lasting legacy of the NHS and the tireless dedication of its skilled and compassionate staff.

Recognition from Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Services:

Eluned Morgan MS, the Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Services, hailed the naming of the train after Aneurin Bevan as a fitting tribute to the NHS and a meaningful way to celebrate its 75th anniversary in Wales.


Aneurin Bevan’s Welsh heritage adds to the significance of the commemoration.

Aneurin Bevan: An Influential Figure in Welsh History:

Aneurin “Nye” Bevan is widely recognized as a crucial figure in Welsh history, referred to as the “architect” of the health service.

Born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire, in November 1897, Bevan rose to prominence in politics and played a pivotal role in the post-World War II Labour government.

His responsibilities included housing, local authorities, and health, and he is credited with spearheading transformative reforms, such as the construction of a million new houses and the introduction of the National Insurance Act, which laid the foundation for the Welfare State.

His crowning achievement was the enactment of the National Health Service Act in 1948, which led to the operationalization of the NHS on July 5, 1948.



Aneira Thomas’s naming of a GWR train in honor of Aneurin Bevan serves as a heartfelt tribute to the NHS on its 75th anniversary.

This significant event not only celebrates the legacy of Aneurin Bevan but also recognizes the tireless efforts and contributions of the NHS in providing skilled and compassionate healthcare.

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