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Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

The monument commemorates Robert Bratten, the Overseer of Works for the District Council of Tumby Bay.

Robert Bratten came to Australia from Ireland at the age of 20 years. He was appointed to the position of Overseer, in 1906 when the council received many petitions for new roads to be opened.   After initial surveys the first roads had to be made through scrub areas which were manually cleared, just tracks. Originally roads were macadamised by breaking big stones with a hammer until they were small enough to pass through a 2.5 inch ring.

This sufficed until motor cars required stronger surface for speed and weight. Big sheet limestone was a problem so a special plough was designed to plough the stones to the surface, the larger ones disposed of, and the smaller ones curshed and used. First the road was formed by the grader and then rolled with a heavy roller. Geoff Ferguson patented the beams and slides that held the plough upright E.E. Excell and and Sons with A.W. Carr made a patented complete plough with beam and wheels, which made the plough more suitable for heavy work and transporting, with the capability of being towed by a tractor instead of horse drawn.

This method was called Brattenising, this method of road making enabled a wide road to be made, especially in limestone country. Wide use of this system was introduced in various parts of the state, such as the Murray Mallee and Yorke Peninsula.


Address:Lincoln Highway, Port Neill, 5604
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.02549
Long: 136.387702
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - State


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 2nd October, 1934
Front Inscription

Erected as a mark of appreciation for services rendered 

Robert Bratten
Overseer of Works
District of Tumby Bay

In originating the Brattenizing System of road making.

2nd October 1934.

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