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Youd Family

The Youd brothers competing in a carnival, 1965 (AOT, PH30/1/9040)

The Youd Family name is synonymous with woodchopping. Albert (1885–1949), a competitive axeman who died in a bush accident, had eight children. His seven sons all chopped: Trevor (b 1922), Merv (b 1924), Rex (1925–92), Doug (b 1927), Bob (b 1929), Ray (1932–95), and Bill (b 1939). Doug, Merv, Ray and Bill all won world championships, and Merv and Doug are members of the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame. Merv won 205 state, national and world titles in every category of competitive woodchopping in a career spanning over thirty years. He was Tasmanian team captain twenty times, and represented Australia six times at the World Festival of Chopping.

Doug's 37-year career began in 1945. He won 22 world championships at the Sydney Show, fifteen world tree-felling championships, four world 'standing' and countless 'hard-hitting' titles, travelled extensively overseas with his sport, and retired on his own terms, still a champion. He was awarded an MBE in 1981.

Further reading: G Borschmann, The people's forest, Blackheath, 1999; J Stoward, Tasmanians, Hobart, 1998.

Wendy Rimon