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Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The plaque commemorates the Great Ocean Road which was built to commemorate those who served in World War One. The plaque was unveiled on the Memorial Arch in 1939. 

The Great Ocean Road hugs the south-west coast of Victoria, and it is also the largest war memorial in the world. The road officially stretches from Torquay to Allansford near Warrnambool.

The Great Ocean Road was first planned towards the end of the first world war, when chairman of the Country Roads Board William Calder asked the State War Council for funds be provided for returned soldiers to work on roads in sparsely populated areas in the Western district. By the time of World War One, the rugged south-west coast of Victoria was accessible only by sea or rough bush track. Besides being dedicated as a memorial, it was also envisaged that the road would connect isolated settlements on the coast, and become a vital transport link for the timber industry and tourism.

Approximately 3,000 workmen built the Great Ocean Road over a period of about 13 years between 1919 and 1932.  The vast majority were returned soldiers from World War One. It was one of the work programs that provided not only employment but the soldiers themselves were very proud to be involved in this as a memorial to all the diggers who lost their lives and fought in World War One.

The road was actually carved out of the cliffs using pick and shovel and horse and dray. On 18 March 1922 the section from Eastern View to Lorne was officially opened with celebrations.

As a memorial to the late Mr. W T. B. McCormack, former chairman of the Country Roads Board, and honorary engineer to the Great Ocean Road Trust, the trust has decided, in consultation with the roads board, to erect an archway at Eastern View to commemorate his services to the trust. The memorial archway, the plan and specifications of which have been drawn by the Country Roads Board, will be erected opposite the Eastern View golf links, and will be visible from the road
for nearly a mile from each approach. It will be built of timber and stone, and will weigh approximately 50 tons; it will have a clear space of 26 feet for traffic, and will be 50 feet wide over all. On one side will be a bronze tablet to the memory of the late Mr. McCormack, and on the other a tablet to the memory of those who served in the Great War.
Age (Melbourne), 6 June 1939. 


Address:Great Ocean Road, Eastern View, 3231
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.47205
Long: 144.044708
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Road
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 3rd September, 1939
Front Inscription

Great Ocean Road Trust

Founded 1917

This road was built to commemorate the services of those who served in the Great War

1914 - 1918

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