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Geoffrey Drake-Brockman (1885–1977)

Mr Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, the man who walked across the Nullabor to survey the first railway route in 1907 and later supervised the construction of the Eyre Highway, died this week aged 92.

Mr Drake-Brockman, an engineer, was chairman of the WA Transport Board, from 1949 to 1952 and was a commissioner for the North-West.

He was the son of a former Surveyor-General Mr. F. S. Drake-Brockman, and Grace Bussell, a pioneer woman who at the age of 16 helped rescue people from the grounded ship georgette off the south-west coast. Mr Drake-Brockman joined the State Public Works Department in 1903.

During the Great War he rose to the rank of brigadier, served at Gallipoli and France and won the Military Cross. During the World War he supervised the feasibility study and construction of a military road between Norseman and Port Pirie, later to become Eyre Highway.

From 1944 to 1949 he was assistant director of the PWD.

About 20 years ago, at the bidding of his late wife, the novelist Henrietta Drake-Brockman, he wrote an autobiography titled The Turning Wheel.

Despite blindness, Mr Drake-Brockman worked on tape-recording a second autobiographic at the Braille Society’s hostel where he has lived for the past two years.

He died at the hostel on Tuesday morning.

He left a son, a daughter and nine grandchildren.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Drake-Brockman, Geoffrey (1885–1977)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 31 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


2 November, 1885
Guildford, Perth, Western Australia, Australia


27 December, 1977 (aged 92)
Victoria Park, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Military Service
Key Organisations