German internees remembered with new signage to mark centenary of railway bridge

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery will unveil new signage to mark the 100th anniversary of the Harris Creek Military Railway Bridge on Friday 20October 2017.

Located adjacent to the Heathcote Road bridge at Holsworthy, it is the only known remaining example in Australia of a bridge constructed by internees during World War 1.

“Liverpool has a long and multi-layered history – some of which challenges us to think deeply about our society,” said Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller.

“The construction of a concentration camp and railway line at Holsworthy by German internees is one such example.

“This commemorative signage pays tribute to the men who built the railway bridge and will allow residents and visitors to reflect on the history of our area.”

During WW1 the Commonwealth Government commissioned a branch railway to serve the Liverpool Field Training Area, at the time the largest military training facility in Australia.

Internees from the German Concentration Camp built the bridge under guard between April and September 1917. A plaque installed by the internees who worked on the bridge contains the figures of a kangaroo, an emu and the letters ‘GCC’ for German Concentration Camp. The three-span bridge remains mainly intact and in 1988 was converted to a pedestrian bridge.

Hosted by the Moorebank Heritage Group, the commemoration will commence at 10.30am for an 11am start at the Harris Creek Reserve, Heathcote Road, Holsworthy.

The event will be attended by Major General the Hon. Michael Jeffery, Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons (representing the Hon. Melinda Pavey MP, NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight), Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller and NSW German Consul General Lothar Freischlader.

Parking is available opposite at the Moorebank Sports Club off Heathcote Road. All are welcome.

For enquiries contact Pam Browne at the Moorebank Heritage Group, 0408 579 781, info@moorebankheritage.org.au