Rest Room for Soldiers and Sailors

A rest room for soldiers and sailors was provided by Carlisle Citizens' League during the Great War. The building was part of the Crown & Station Hotel, and prior to the Great War had operated as the Rendevous Café. The building had been acquired by George and Joblin Car Dealers of Carlisle, who planned to use it as a showroom, however they offered its use to Carlisle Citizens' League. The building was made fit for purpose by local tradesman who gave their labour free of charge. Others generously donated furniture, furnishings and kitchen utensils.

The rest room opened on 8 December 1915. Due to its proximity to the station the rest room provided a welcome haven for servicemen, particularly those travelling at night. Previously a number of servicemen, who were changing trains at Carlisle, had been seen sleeping on the platforms, without food or drink. The rest room was staffed by around 200 volunteers from the Carlisle Citizens' League, who worked in shifts to keep the facility open 24 hours a day to provide food, drink and a warm, comfortable place to wait for a connecting train. 

The rest room was extremely busy from its first day of opening, it was reported at the Citizens' League meeting in late December 1915 that more than 4,000 men had made use of the rest room and refreshments room within the Citadel Station.  


To find out more about some of Carlisle's other Great War sites, return to map