We welcome all contributions to update information or post new information.

Historical information comes from people like you.

These projects tell – and in many cases gather – the stories of people from the Torquay region.

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Spring 2017 edition HISTORY MATTERS

Spring edition of “History Matters ” out today at Torquay Newsagent. Lots of stories…George McCartney’s old carriage museum at Bellbrae, the Cobb and Co coaches in Torquay, the development of Jan Juc, and remembering Harold Bell who died in the battle of the Menin Road in Belgium 100 years ago on October 8th / Grab a copy, your support helps us with our work.


Annual General Meeting

All members, sponsors, supporters and friends are encouraged to attend our AGM and join with us to celebrate our second year of operation and launch our exciting 2018 program. It is a great opportunity for members to know what is going on and become involved in our ideas and plans.





Surfing Torquay Early Years

Ray Wilson grew up in Torquay. He learnt to swim and surf in our beaches. In this clip he describes his experiences as a young Torquay Surfer.

Ray is also featured in our June edition of HISTORY MATTERS which can be purchased at the Torquay newsagents. Members receive a free digital copy.


Early Torquay

Ray Wilson has lived in Torquay all his life. Listen to the first of our clips where Ray describes growing up in Torquay.  His story is featured in the latest edition of our magazine HISTORY MATTERS available at the Torquay Newsagency.

1917 A Story Lost

1917 was the single worst year in Australian History. Almost 77,000 Australians were killed, missing or wounded. Passchendaele, Menin Road,Polygon Wood  and Bullencourt   have become household names as we, a century, later commemorate the sacrifice, tragedy and horror of that time.

I have been doing some research into a young soldier, Harold George Bell from Bell’s Beach who headed off for battle in April of 1916.

By 1917 Harold, known to his family as Sonny, was in the thick of it in Belgium. On October 8th that year he as killed instantly when his by the shell of a Howitzer in the battle of the Menin Road.

Harold has no grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate, the monument in Ypres to the missing- 54,000 names of those who have no formal resting place.

In doing my research among army records,  I came across this letter written by Harold to his sister Kathleen(Girlie) Bell who had sent him a pair of socks. Written on the battlefields of Belgium just exactly 100 years ago (July23rd 1917)  and only days before what would be his last birthday – Harold would turn 26 on  July 25th 1917.  It is poignant and beautiful reminder of what our young men went through.

I am giving a talk on the Bell family and their significance in our area on Thursday August 3rd at Mt Duneed History group, in the old hall at Mt Duneed at 7.30pm , come long and hear their story  and remember Harold and his sacrifice.


letter from harold




Need a box set?

Missed out on one of the early editions of HISTORY MATTERS?

We have had many requests for further reprints of our wonderful magazine HISTORY MATTERS so we went ahead and did another run of the early editions. Editions 1 – 4 can be purchased at the Torquay Newsagency.

Winter Edition of HISTORY MATTERS magazine

Just making the end of June for edition 6 of HISTORY MATTERS magazine!

The winter edition profiles Ray Wilson who has always lived in Torquay. Other articles include the follow up article on the first development of Jan Juc and the Jarosite Mining that occurred in the 1920s. There is also a story on the Torquay Football Club and its link with legend Geelong FC player Peter Burns. Mt Duneed Jane Walker is also included and how some of our locals in WW1 were in the push to the Hindenburg Line.

The magazine is also available for purchase from the Torquay Newsagency, Gilbert Street, Torquay

Please contact us if you have any suggestions for stories or if you have your own story, we would love to publish them.

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