PROGRESS: The recent addition to the Cottonvale soldier settlers monument
PROGRESS: The recent addition to the Cottonvale soldier settlers monument

Signs monument to returned soldiers is slowly taking shape

A MONUMENT designed to honour and remember Australia’s soldier settlers is making progress, with a recent addition to the site.

Located at Cottonvale, the development of the monument now has a number of signs which represent railway sidings from Cottonvale to Amiens.

The Pikedale railway line was opened in June 1920.

On its return journey, produce grown by returned soldier settlers was loaded manually from each siding on to rail wagons.

Stanthorpe Heritage Museum volunteer Lorene Long said it was an addition to the slow process of erecting a monument.

“I think it’s only fair we acknowledge these people. Nowhere else in Australia has it been done and that is what we are working towards,” Ms Long said.

“It’s a big process. What we have designed is very symbolic.”

She is in no hurry to have the monument finished, saying the end goal was to enable people to understand the hardships endured during those times.

“The process of designing it is what I call extremely complex and many people nowadays don’t stop and think.

“It’s an educational process, it’s a tourism process and it’s an honouring of the people process.

“I think the hardships these people faced made me realise we have to do something to educate people in the future.

“When we were looking at designing a monument, we had to look at the process of telling a story.

“I think it’s a feather in the community’s cap that it is being done in our district.”