The Memorial Arch on the Great Ocean Road is a great place to commemorate Australia’s returned servicemen, many of whom participated in constructing the road.
the memorial arch
The Arch was erected in tribute to the World War One servicemen. The timber log Archway spans the Great Ocean Road, and is located at Eastern View, just after the Airey’s Inlet Lighthouse. There is an area to pull over and take photos from the viewing platforms. The current arch is the third built to replace the second one destroyed in the Ash Wednesday bushfires of February 1983.
A memorial statue has been erected in the viewing area next to the Meomrial Arch. The statue is of soldiers taking a break from the hard work of building the road. At the time they had picks, shovels to work with, as well as wheelbarrows to cart the dirt and rocks out of the way. Work was tough, but the project provided paid employment for the soldiers at a time when there was little other work available in Melbourne.
Construction of the Road
This year (2019) marks the 100th Anniversary of construction beginning on the Great Ocean Road. The road was built as an access road to link up the towns along the coast. Prior to the road being built, local people used boats to get between the towns and to bring cargo from Melbourne. A committee of local people got together to make plans to build the road. They thought it could not only be an access road, but if they built it right alongside the ocean it could also be a scenic tourist drive. 100 years ago they were thinking of bringing tourists to the area! It definitely worked, these days thousands of people drive along the road every day of the year.