Who built the Great Ocean Road?

Building the Great Ocean RoadWhat an important project and one that YOU can get involved in!  Iain Grant and the Portland Family History Group have been compiling a list of anyone who had a connection with building the Great Ocean Road between 1919 and 1932.  Unfortunately the “official” records were destroyed during WWII so the only way to compile a comprehensive list is with help from you – the descendants, families, or friends of those workers.

And we’re not just talking about the actual road workers – there are so many others who should be on this list.  Local farmers and land owners who helped with provisions.  Suppliers, carters, engineers, surveyors, pastoral care workers, medical and health workers, wives and families who supported their husbands, fathers and relatives.

Who provided the tents and supplies for the various camps along the length of the road?  There were 2,400 ex-servicemen and 500 civilians working on this project.  And how many more were associated with the project?

The 2013 Press Release gives so much more information – it is worth reading and may give you some ideas on how you can contribute – photos, information, names …  It also includes contact details for Iain and the Portland Family History Group.

Have a look at the Great Ocean Road Workers facebook page – the photos are definitely worth seeing.

And if you can help with this terrific project it will help everyone.

0 Responses

  1. John Cameron

    To the best of my knowledge my grandfather John Henry Stewart Cameron, born 1890, (with my grandmother, Jessie Violet Cameron born 1888, and my father Francis William Cameron born on 8 July 1915) worked for the Forestry Commission at the You Yangs and Anglesea before moving to Wye River while he was working on the construction of the Great Ocean Road. The family lived in a tent at Wye River. It must have been around 1927-29, because I recall my father telling us that he walked and got a ride into Geelong to Tates Cycles, which was up near the old Post Office in Ryrie Street to buy his first bike (when he was about 12 years of age). He then had to ride back to Wye River. At some points along the way he had to carry his bike because they were still working on the road and it was very muddy. I am not sure what job my grandfather did. He later became Sexton of the Eastern Cemetery in 1934, and died in 1952.

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