Created By: Uki and South Arm Historical Society
The Uki War Memorial was designed by Sir John Sulman and built by Messrs Roberts and Davis of Lismore.
The local Postmaster Charlie Milsom and general store owner Len Loder both WW1 Veterans were responsible for organising public donations to finance the project. The memorial was built with Gosford Stone.
It was decided to have four tablets of Bowral trachyte, one on each face with one tablet to contain the names of those killed in action. The original intention was to have those names only. Still, the decision was made to record the names of all the 93 volunteers who enlisted from the area, those who fell and those who returned (a most unusual decision as usually only the names of the fallen were recorded). The total cost of the memorial, including erecting a galvanised fence, was £497.
Initially, the memorial had two large clock faces driven by batteries from a master clock in the Uki public school.
The memorial was unveiled on Saturday, 10th December 1927 by Mrs George Sweetnam senior, who had the distinction of being the oldest lady resident of the South Arm who lost a son in the Great War.
There was impressive silence as Mrs Sweetnam pulled a cord, allowing the flags draping the monument to flutter. The people stood with bared heads, and the Murwillumbah Town Band rendered the National Anthem. The chairman of the Memorial Committee was Mr D. C. Marshall, who is known as Uki's father.
The ladies of Uki organised a stall in the Uki School of Arts during the day.
The plaque commemorating WW2 servicemen and women was unveiled after the Anzac Day March that marshalled at the Mount Warning Hotel and marched to the War Memorial in 1952.
The plaques for Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia were unveiled by Sir Roden Cutler Tuesday 16th October 1973.
Over the years, the memorial and grounds have been maintained by the Uki RSL members.
In 1993 the RSL decided to upgrade the memorial by replacing the old tiles with granite, resurfacing and repainting the structure and replacing the overhead power lines and light with a ground-mounted flood light and underground power at the cost of approx. $6,000 (the Uki RSL raised the money through Friday night raffles held at the Mount Warning Hotel). Following the refurbishment of the memorial, Tweed Shire Council accepted responsibility for the maintenance of the memorial and surrounding area.
Dawn services are held every Anzac Day, and Remembrance Day is held on 11th November.
The Plants at the Memorial
The cycads growing on the Memorial grounds are descendants of those planted in 1927.
The Gallipoli Pine is traced back to a pine that grew at Plateau 400 Lone Pine on the battlefields of Gallipoli. It was planted at Uki School on 11th November 2001 by Eric (Chubb) Sweetnam (WW2 digger and member of Uki RSL) and Mary Roberts (member of Uki RSL Women's Auxiliary).
This point of interest is part of the tour: Historic Uki Village - Walking Tour