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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 09:12 GMT
Train boost to St Edmund campaign
St Edmund tapestry
Legend has it that St Edmund was put to death by a volley of arrows
A rail operator is naming a train after St Edmund as a Suffolk campaign to oust St George as patron saint grows.

Campaigners want to replace St George with what they describe as a "home-grown hero king".

St George became patron saint in 1061 but the position was originally held by St Edmund who gave his name to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk where he is buried.

A two-carriage train operating in the East by One Railway is to be named St Edmund at a ceremony in Ipswich.

Local heritage

The campaign was launched by the BBC in Suffolk to try to reinstate the 9th century king of East Anglia who was captured by Vikings.

One Railway spokesman Peter Meades said the train will carry passengers between Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge.

He said: "The train naming was one way we could help support the campaign."

The company has worked with the East of England tourist board to try to encourage people to visit the region.

Mr Meades said: "This has got people thinking what St Edmund means, where can I visit his heritage.

"Hopefully, we can attract people to come to the region and travel on the St Edmund."

Viking raiders

The campaign has also received the backing of the MP for Bury St Edmunds, David Ruffley, and local historians.

Historian Clive Paine said: "There are no added bits to the story, there is no dragon, there are no maidens, which were all added to St George's story much later on to make him part of chivalry.

"With Edmund, like the rest of us Anglo Saxons, what you see is what you get."

Edmund ruled the Anglo Saxon realm of East Anglia from 855 AD to 869 AD.

He was 15 when he became king and was killed by Vikings.


SEE ALSO
Campaign for a new patron saint
26 Sep 06 |  Suffolk

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