The first of the three Anzac Centenary commemorative sculptures was launched at Moss Vale Railway Station on Friday 23 February 2018 by Howard Collins OBE, A/G Chief Executive NSW Trainlink, with the official unveiling by Angus Taylor MP and attended by Local member Pru Goward.
Three years in development, the commemorative sculpture provides the chance to learn of untold stories about railway men who enlisted and fought in World War 1. It is also an opportunity to reveal and to honour the experiences of WW1 veterans returning from the war and to recognise the powerful link for many in returning to jobs in the NSW railway network in this region.
The installation shines a light on the socio-economic role of the NSW railways in providing employment to WW1 veterans, the impact on their families and communities and provides a way for the descendants of these men to remember and celebrate their family members.
During the research phase we were able to find living descendants who are now the custodians of precious items of memorabilia and family stories. War records, railway staff records, citations, medals and photos are just some of the memorabilia that illustrated the stories gathered in the research and consultation stages of this project.
The acclaimed visual artist Tracy Luff has developed the design for the commemorative sculpture site. Ms Luff said “she was drawn the stories of struggle in the aftermath of the Great War for the railway workers”. Ms Luff went on to say she has chosen symbols from the research to represent various aspects that were common experiences for the returning veterans.
In order to combine the past with the present, a QR code is located with the artwork to enable people who visit to learn more by using their smart phone/device. The material that is linked to this QR code offers future opportunities for research and presentation to existing and new audiences.
NSW Trains has been an important part of the project and is the manager for the Moss Vale railway station and its gardens. The memorial sculpture was deeded to NSW Trains on project completion. A key source of funding for the project is the Anzac Centenary Cultural Fund. The project could not have proceeded without these funds and the support of NSW Trains and Trainlink.