The Great Southern Line Anzac Story

Inspired by an image of five young railway men who enlisted together in Goulburn in WW1 STA commissioned artist Tracy Luff to create 3 public artworks at Picton, Moss Vale and Goulburn Railway Stations. 

Artist Tracy Luff and researcher Mary Hutchison uncovered the hidden stories of the men who worked the railways, went to the war and eventually came home to work the on the rails again. The project explored their lives, homes, families and the overall impact of the War. 

The commemorative sculptures provided an opportunity to find previously untold stories about railway men who enlisted and fought during WWI. 


Read the research report. 

Download the article by Leon Oberg.

Have a Southern Highlands or Tablelands Soldier or Story for inclusion.  Contact Us. 

Through the project our community can honour the experiences of WWI veterans returning from the war and to recognise the powerful link for many who returned to jobs in the NSW railway network in our region.  

When you visit each of the works there is an accompanying QR code that takes you to a dedicated website to learn more and access the wealth of material collected over the project. 

NSW Trains and Sydney Trains were with us for every part of the journey,  contributing to the working party and supporting the budget of the project. The memorial sculptures were deeded to them as custodians for the future.

A key source of funding for the project is the Anzac Centenary Cultural Fund. For the Goulburn Commemorative artworks, funds were also provided by Goulburn Mulwaree Council and the Goulburn Soldiers Club.

So many beautiful and heart-breaking stories were revealed throughout the project Download the research report here. 


Moss Vale


5 young railway men enlist together in Goulburn.


Plan your trip to visit the Sculptures at Creative South.

Dorothy Edgar with her family and her fathers Graffiti
Lt. Muir signature

Robert Muir a special connection.

WW1 Soldier Robert Muir worked on the railways in Goulburn before and after the great war.  He was a 22 year old bachelor when he enlisted to serve. He was a driver in the Field Ambulance Service and though not hospitalised, was at some point exposed to mustard gas. He met his future wife in Pozieres. At some time during his service on the Somme, Robert visited the Caves of Naour a popular spot for soldiers on leave. The graffiti written by Robert Muir was uncovered by French Archaeologist and author of “Silent Soldiers of Naour” Gilles Prilaux.  The graffiti was traced through the Great Southern Line Anzac Story website. STA were able to  Mr Prilaux to Robert Muirs daughter Dorothy Edgar and granddaughter Robin Cummins. At the opening of the Goulburn Public Artwork we were able to present Dorothy with an image of her fathers graffiti.  See all the Stories

Read the Soldiers Stories

Robert Curtis: Great Southern Line

Robert Curtis: A Soldiers Story Cleaner, Fireman, Driver: Goulburn War Service record: NAA B2455, CURTIS R (Service no. 25576) NSWGR Employment Card: NSW Public Records

The Goulburn Hub: GSL

The Goulburn Hub: Great Southern Line The stories of returning soldiers on the great southern line: Goulburn, Moss Vale and Picton The stories of railway

William Guthrie: GSL

William Guthrie: Great Southern Line Willam Guthrie Porter, Cleaner, Fireman, Driver Yass, Mittagong, Goulburn (Narromine)    War Service record: NAA B2455, GUTHRIE, WJ (Service no.

Robert Lewis Muir: GSL

Robert Lewis Muir: Great Southern Line Started work for NSWGR in Goulburn as a casual engine cleaner in 1915 at the age of 22 and

Joeseph Wade: GSL

Joseph Wade: Great Southern Line 1914 joined NSWGR Goulburn Loco where his older brother John was already employed.  Casual engine cleaner. Not clear whether still

John Wade: GSL

John Wade: Great Southern Line Started work at Goulburn Loco as a casual engine cleaner in 1912 aged 20. Permanent from 1913 when became Fireman.

William Charles Wilson: GSL

William Charles Wilson: Great Southern Line Engine cleaner promoted to Fireman 1909 – 1914. Resigned and applied unsuccessfully for re-employment in 1915.  At this time

William James: GSL

William James Fitter, Steam Shed Inspector, Divisional Loco Superintendent Goulburn (Junee, head office, Eveleigh) War Service record: NAA B2455, JAMES William (service No. Major) NSWGR Employment

Moss vale Hub: GSL

Moss Vale Hub: Great Southern Line Moss Vale Refreshment Rooms 1890 (left) and 1935 (right). Berrima Image Library, Berrima and District Family Historical Society. Character

Leslie William Smith: GSL

Leslie William Smith: Great Southern Line Started work as a porter at Mittagong in c. 1915, at c. 15 years of age (based on photo

Albert Voller: GSL

Albert Alfred George Voller: Great Southern Line First work for NSWGR was as a ballast packer, then a relief fettler. One of his early jobs 

Roy Howard: GSL

Roy James Howard: Great Southern Line Working as a farm labourer around Dalton when he enlisted in Goulburn in March 1916 (possibly kangaroo march) at

Robert Ellerslie Young

Robert Ellerslie Young: Great Southern Line First employed by NSWGR in 1910 as a third class porter at Sydney stations. Promoted to leading porter in

Roy Stanley Hatter: GSL

Roy Stanley Hatter: Great Southern Line First employed by NSWGR as a Junior Porter in Feb 1911 when he was 16.  The station is given

John Goldrick: gsl

John Goldrick: Great Southern Line Goldrick’s NSWGR employment card is for work in 1926 as a pickman and concreter at Cockle Creek near Lake Macquarrie. 

The Picton Hub: GSL

The Picton Hub: Great Southern Line Character Picton hub’s identity is more metropolitan (80 ks from Sydney) than that of either Moss Vale or Goulburn

Alexander Davies Ingleton: GSL

Alexander Davie Ingleton: Great Southern Line Joined NSWGR in 1908 as temporary porter at Goulburn. Once permanent passed test as shunter and moved to Picton

Reginald Vandebergh: GSL

Reginald Vandenbergh: Great Southern Line Joined NSWGR in 1908 aged 17 as a shop boy at Eveleigh. After six months became a permanent employee and

Ernest George Coulter: GSL

Ernest George Coulter: Great Southern Line Employed as a Cleaner at Eveleigh workshop in 1908 aged 17 (possibly earlier casual work. Promoted to fireman in

Patrick James Phelan: GSL

Patrick James Phelan: Great Southern Line Joined NSWGR at Picton Loco as a Call boy in 1913 when he was 16.  He enlisted in 1915



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