Tracks Heading West – Buy
It took me three visits to this spot to get the image I wanted. It’s a decent journey from Dunedin and not a spot I could quickly detour to when the time seemed right. To get the timing right it took a bit of planning. On the first two occasions I came home, only to realise I wasn’t happy with the composition which was rather annoying. There’s also a wonderful metaphor that comes with railway tracks and railway stations that seem to be a growing theme for me.
Railway Station at Sutton – Buy
The Sutton railway station was once a busy wee place as locals came and went from the Strath Taieri area to Dunedin. These days, still visible inside the small, disused station, etched into the timber are the names of locals that date back nearly to the turn of the century. Some of them include the initials of soldiers from the area who served in the First World War, among them are the initials of A.C Peat.
At the age of 21, Arthur Charles Peat left Sutton in late 1914 and was enlisted for ‘The Great War’ as a member of the Otago Infantry Battalion on the 13th December 1914. On board the vessel the HMS Tahiti, his journey from Sutton took him firstly to Egypt where in early April he wrote to his brother Jack. In his letter he wrote about spending three days on the Red Sea before getting sight of the Suez canal. He wrote about saluting other ships as they passed, about buying fruit off the locals and disembarking to a train to head through the canal. He went on to write about meeting some of his mates once they were in camp and how they went into Cairo to have a look at the sites, commenting that he had only seen the pyramids from a distance. Wanting to ensure his letter went out on that day’s mail, he ended by promising to write all the news and tell all about the sights next time.
Arthur and the Otago Infantry Battalion were then shipped out to Gallipoli as part of the Gallipoli campaign. At Chunuk Bair on 7 August, 1915 Arthur Charles Peat was killed in action.-
– lest we forget, we will remember them.