A major project for the Granite Belt has been developed to honour the returned men and their wives from WW1 at Cottonvale near Stanthorpe.
This is the first time in Australia that the wives of the returned soldiers have been recognised and honoured. The wives of the soldier settlers went to the bush with no facilities, worked alongside their husbands, brought up their children in bark huts (sometimes for years) and helped build this nation. People have forgotten their contribution in rebuilding the nation after the Great War.
The women were capable, hardworking, reared their families on a shoestring, and supported their men who exhibited both physical and emotional scars on their return.
This is our chance to really stand up and make people realise that women have always been a major part of agriculture, industry, and educating children - not to mention nursing and the domestic sciences.
We are seeking involvement of women's groups, and are pleased the QCWA has agreed our wife should be wearing a QCWA badge.
We need to publicise this project, and ask a lot of people to donate a small amount each. If just one member of your group were to pass this information on to five others, who passed it on to five others, etc. the snowball effect of this information would be amazing. Women do need to support each other.
This will be the most comprehensive monument to the soldier settlers, and certainly the only one giving recognition to the wives.
The monument and park will comprise a granite structure built in the style of the Stanthorpe War Memorial. The plinth for the soldier settler, his wife and child, and their horse (so necessary when clearing and ploughing land to create a farm from virgin bush) will overlook a long walkway of named pavers, including the names of both returned men and their wives from any area of Australia.
This walkway of named pavers in memory of all returned men and their wives, Bush Nurses, Land Army, QCWA, Red Cross and VAD from all conflicts, will lead up to the plinth where the soldier settler, his wife and child stand alongside their horse so necessary to clear the virgin bush and plough the land for farming.
The walkway represents the purpose built branch railway line that transported fruit and vegetables to the markets in Brisbane. Replica railway signs will be installed alongside the walkway.
The monument and park will include a granite structure built in the manner of the Stanthorpe War Memorial.