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Railway sidings

Below is information about the villages and railway sidings on the Cottonvale-Amiens branch line that serviced the Pikedale Soldier Settlement Scheme. 

Amiens

The Amiens railway siding was located at the Amiens terminus, named as such because it was located in Amiens, the administration centre for the Pikedale Soldiers' Settlement Scheme. The town of Amiens consisted of schools, residences, state govt. offices, businesses and the railway terminus.

Bapaume

The Bapaume railway siding was named after the two Battles of Bapaume during the first world war.The first Battle of Bapaume (also called Operation Michael) took place on the 24th & 25th March, 1918, and the second Battle of Bapaume took place at Bapaume between 21st Aug & 3rd Sep 1918.  It followed the Battle of Amiens and is also referred to as the second phase of that battle. (source: Wikipedia)

 

The area called Bapaume that formed part of the Pikedale Soldiers' Settlement Scheme consisted of a railway siding only.  Nearby Cannon Creek played host to a school, school master's cottage and post office. 

Messines

The Messines railway siding was named after the Battle of Messines which took place between the 7th & 14th June, 1917.  It was an offensive conducted by the British Second Army on the Western Front near the village of Messines in Belgian West Flanders during the First World War. (source: Wikipedia)

 

The area called Messines that formed part of the Pikedale Soldiers' Settlement Scheme consisted of a railway siding only. 

Passchendaele

The Passchendaele railway siding was named after the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, which was a campaign of the First World War, fought by the Allies against the German Empire. The battle took place on the Western Front, from July to November 1917, for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders. (source: Wikipedia)

 

The area called Passchendaele that formed part of the Pikedale Soldiers' Settlement Scheme consisted of a railway siding only. However, its name has given rise to the Passchendaele State Forest, part native, part pine plantation, that now surrounds the area. 

The image shows C17 No. 997 posing for photographs on a Society special on 24th February, 1968 at Passchendaele in the middle of the pine forest (Photo: Eric Marggraf)

Bullecourt

The Bullecourt railway siding was named after two battles involving the town of  Bullecourt in France. The First Battle of Bullecourt occurred on the 11th April 1917, and was an Australian attack on German trenches east of the village of Bullecourt. Three weeks after the first battle of Bullecourt the Australian 2nd Division, now with the British 62nd Division attacking on their left towards Bullecourt itself, embarked on the second battle of Bullecourt and assaulted over the same ground where the Australians had met defeat on 11th April. This battle lasted from 3rd - 17th May, 1917. (source: www.ww1westernfront.gov.au)

 

The area called Bullecourt that formed part of the Pikedale Soldiers' Settlement Scheme consisted of a railway siding only. 

The image shows a disused Bullecourt railway siding. (Photo: Australian War Memorial)

Pozieres

The Pozieres railway siding was named after the Battle of Pozières which was a two-week (23rd July - 4th August 1916) struggle for the French village of Pozières and the ridge on which it stands, during the middle stages of the 1916 Battle of the Somme. (source: Wikipedia)

 

The area called Pozieres that formed part of the Pikedale Soldiers' Settlement Scheme consisted of a railway siding, a primary school (which still exists today) and a post office. 

Fleurbaix

The Fleurbaix railway siding was named after the Battle of Fleurbaix, also known as the Battle of Fromelles, and took place on the 19th - 20th July 1916. An ill planned, and poorly executed assault resulted in heavy casualties and a retreat to their original starting point. 

 

The area called Fleurbaix that formed part of the Pikedale Soldiers' Settlement Scheme consisted of a railway siding only. 

The image shows an Up Goods hauled by C17 No. 946 halts at Fleurbaix on 19th April, 1964 (Photo: Eric Marggraf)

The Somme

The Somme area of the Granite Belt was named after the Battle of the Somme. This battle was fought between 1st July - 1st Nov, 1918 near the Somme River in France. It was  one of the bloodiest military battles in history. On the first day alone, the British suffered more than 57,000 casualties, and by the end of the campaign the Allies and Central Powers would lose more than 1.5 million men.

 

The area called The Somme is not on the Amiens-Cottonvale railway line, instead it was located south of Glen Aplin and is bounded by the Severn River to the east and south. The land to the south and east is mostly used for farming and residential purposes. The land in the north-western part of Somme is mostly undeveloped. (Source: Wikipedia)

 

In its time, the Somme consisted of a primary school and surrounding farming community. 

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