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Often mistaken for the beginning of the Great Ocean Road, the Memorial Arch was originally built in honour of Major W.T.B McCormack, honorary engineer to the Great Ocean Road Trust and chairman of the Country Roads Board.
The Road itself is the memorial to the returned servicemen.
Reference and photos: Peter Spring, Lorne Historical Society
The first arch stood at ‘The Springs’ near Cathedral Rock, constructed from enormous Mountain Ash logs. When the road first opened to the public, tollgates were put in place charging visitors as well as drivers to tour the road. This Memorial Arch was demolished when the tolls were removed in 1936.
A second arch was constructed at Eastern view in 1939. The arch weighed fifty tonnes and stood until 1970 when the Country Road Board established it wanted to demolish the arch as it was too narrow and a traffic hazard. Public outcry prevented the destruction, however it was soon completed free of charge by an unruly truck.
In 1972 a third arch was built at Eastern View however that was reduced to ashes by the fires of Ash Wednesday in 1983. Photographed at the top are Daryl and Ted Babington who delivered the logs for the third Arch.
Finally, a fourth and final Memorial Arch was built, where fortunately it still remains today. You will find two plaques displayed a the current site, one commemorating Major W.T.B. McCormack who was the engineer of the Great Ocean Road and the second in memory of those that served in the Great War.
Learn more at the Great Ocean Road Heritage Centre, located in Lorne’s Visitor Information Centre.
Where bush meets the beach. See what to do, where to eat and more…
Did you know there are 10 waterfalls within 10kms of Lorne? Right now, you could pop over to Erskine Falls in just 10 minutes.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.