Australia under attack: Civil Constructional Corps
The Civil Constructional Corps (CCC) was established in April 1942 to supply labour for the creation of infrastructure like airfields, gun emplacements, barracks, roads and other projects undertaken by the Allied Works Council.
All men between the ages of 18 and 60 could be conscripted into the CCC unless they were serving in the armed forces or employed in a reserved occupation. They received pay based on civilian award rates but their work was highly regulated: they could not strike and might be sent anywhere in Australia.
At its peak strength in August 1943, almost 54,000 men were serving in the CCC. They were involved in hundreds of projects worth millions of pounds. Almost one-third of them were conscripted – or “manpowered”, the term current at the time. By the end of the war 77,500 men had served in the CCC. They had served in every state and territory and made an invaluable contribution to the war effort. Two hundred and eighteen members of the CCC died while serving in it.
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