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Len Beadall
Len Beadall

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

A memorial cairn at his final resting place commemorates explorer Len Beadall who has been referred to as the last of the true Australian explorers. A memorial has also been erected in Champion Mall, Woomera.

Leonard (Len) Beadell OAM BEM FIEMS (1923 - 1995) was a surveyor, roadbuilder (over 6000 km), bushman, artist and author, responsible for opening up the last remaining isolated desert areas (some 2.5 million square kilometres) of central Australia from 1947 to 1963. Len is sometimes called "the last true Australian explorer

Len showed an interest in surveying under the guidance of his surveyor scoutmaster, and later enlisted in the Army Survey Corps during the Second World War.

The decision to survey the Woomera rocket range led Beadell to a lifetime of camping, surveying, exploring and road making in the vast empty areas of Central Australia, opening up for the first time more than 2.5 million square kilometres of the Great Sandy, Gibson and Great Victoria Deserts.

Beadell was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1958 for his work in building the famous Gunbarrel Highway, which stretches 1,600 kilometres across Central Australia.

Location

Address:Pimba Road, Woomera Cemetery, Woomera, 5720
State:SA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.182926
Long: 136.832939
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Discovery

Dedication

Front Inscription

THIS PLAQUE COMMEMORATES THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENTS
                   OF A TRUE AUSTRALIAN
                 LEN BEADELL 1923 - 1995
             O.A.M., B.E.M., F.I.E.M.S. (AUST)

LEN BEADELL ARRIVED IN THIS AREA ON 12 MARCH 1947 TO COMMENCE THE SURVEYS THAT ULTIMATELY RESULTED IN THE WOOMERA ROCKET RANGE, EMU AND MARALINGA ATOMIC BOMB TEST SITES AND OVER 6,000 KILOMETRES OF DESERT ROADS. FROM 1947 TO 1964 LEN AND THE GUNBARREL ROAD CONSTRUCTION PARTY WERE EXPOSED TO HARSH AND LONELY CONDITIONS IN THE MAKING OF THE ROADS. THESE ROADS COVERED THE CENTRELINE OF RANGE ACROSS LARGELY UNEXPLORED DESERTS NORTHWEST FROM WOOMERA TO THE INDIAN OCEAN.

LEN WAS AN UNIQUE CHARACTER WITH AN IRREPRESSIBLE SENSE OF HUMOUR THAT CARRIED HIM THROUGH LIFE.
 

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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