By Deb Wheeler
On the 18th of June 2020, I wrote an article about the Swan Creek School of Arts Hall Committee and the work they were undertaking in sourcing photos of men whose names appear on the WWI & WWII Honour Boards in the hall.
Recently the committee was presented with, and gratefully accepted a beautifully framed photograph and Service Record of WWII Veteran, Gunner Albert Edward Ives [Deceased]. This highly prized gift was donated by Albert’s son and daughter-in-law Jim and Dale Ives.
The committee is appealing to anyone with information about the families of the following veterans to contact me so I can pass the information on.
• Henry William George GILLESPIE 3356
• William Alfred GREENWOOD 490
• Thomas Ronald Wallace (Ronald) JOHNS 5058
Please forward information onto me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0414 852 492 with details.
Soldier Settlers’ story shared…
Last week I received my latest edition of the Queensland History Journal. It was wonderful to see the very first paper presented was written by Roger J Willis, President of the Amiens History Association.
Roger and his wife Colleen purchased a block of land at Amiens and are now well and truly entrenched in the district. As luck would have it the block of land they purchased is of significant historical merit having been the site of the experimental farm.
Under Roger’s guidance a group of local residents and other interested parties have formed the Amiens History Association. The purpose of the Association is to endeavour to preserve the history of the Pikedale Soldier Settlement and share its story to the greater general public.
Although the township of Amiens is a shadow of its former glory, the ever growing site of the Amiens Legacy Centre allows visitors a glimpse of life on the home front after the war. Recently a wonderful monochromatic painting by local artist Franco Arcidiacono, entitled ‘Forging A future After The Trenches,’ depicts the life of an early soldier settler and his family.
While undertaking my research on the soldiers associated with the Kyoomba Sanatorium, I discovered a link between the Sanatorium and the Soldier Settlement. To date over forty men from the settlement have been identified as having received treatment for tuberculosis at the Sanatorium. It is therefore not surprising to learn a majority of these former soldiers had to give up their farms.
Many of these men had no idea of farming and came from a wide variety of occupations. These men had formally worked in a variety of occupations as a bricklayer, labourer, wood carter, blacksmith, waiter, lineman, fruiterer, civil engineer, cook, plumber, tin smith, clerk, foundry worker, sailor, electrical engineer, miner, salesman, fisherman, French polisher, fitter, grocer, contractor, fireman, stockman, mechanic and boot maker.
Even though they were willing to learn and make a new life as farmers, the lack of appropriate skills, lack of water, time for fruit trees to mature combined with the additional impact of their tuberculosis resulted in a number of farms having to be forfeited.
Roger and the committee would like to invite all readers to take a drive to Amiens and see for yourselves the work being carried out at the Amiens Legacy Centre. The centre is open to the public every Sunday from 10am until 1pm. It is well worth the drive.