Warwick community commemorates 100th anniversary of local Cenotaph

Media Release 06 December 2023
  • History & commemoration
  • Media release

On Tuesday 5 December, the Warwick RSL Sub Branch marked a significant milestone hosting a commemorative ceremony for the centenary anniversary of the Warwick Cenotaph.

Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland was in attendance, unveiling a centenary plaque signifying a pivotal moment for the memorial. Attendees also heard poignant words from RSL Queensland State President Major General Stephen Day DSC AM about the importance of war memorials within the community.

Warwick RSL Sub Branch member John Skinner said the memorial represented one of the many landmarks established across Australia post-World War One and pays tribute to the courage and sacrifice of the thousands of Australians who served.

Warwick Memorial

An Australian Army Cadet stands guard at the Memorial

“The memorial is very unique, the Cenotaph honours 122 locals who fell during WWI in lead lettering on the front, and the Memorial Gates list 501 locals who served and returned,” Mr Skinner said. 

“The names of 137 local WWII people killed are listed on the north east side alongside two from the Korean War and three from the Vietnam War.

“This is a once in a lifetime anniversary, celebrating rich history and the memorial’s significance in the community and the country.”

The Warwick RSL Sub Branch has been operating since 4 August 1917 and has utilised the memorial space for decades to hold services for the community, encouraging commemoration and remembrance.

Warwick Memorial

RSL Queensland State President Major General Stephen Day DSC AM and Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland 

“Our recent commemoration on Remembrance Day, brought 3,000 people to this memorial which we are so proud of,” Mr Skinner said.

Over the years, the memorial has seen the addition of monuments around the Cenotaph to honour later wars and peacekeeping operations that Australia has been a part of. 

In the last eight years, Mr Skinner said the Warwick RSL Sub Branch has worked closely with the Southern Downs Regional Council and Southern Downs Ex-Service Association to maintain and add to the 100-year-old memorial precinct.

“One monument in particular is the dais, which shows a timeline of wars and conflicts Australia has been a part of throughout history, this spans from the Boer War all the way to the nation’s involvement during the Afghanistan War,” Mr Skinner said.

Warwick Memorial

Sub Branch and community members lay wreaths of remembrance

“The dais also includes a blank space for more additions to be made as we move into the future.” 

Looking ahead, Mr Skinner said the Sub Branch and local council will continue to focus on upkeep and maintenance to preserve and evolve the memorial. 

“It’s a special anniversary for veterans and the wider community and we only hope the memorial continues to be a landmark in Warwick for generations to come.” 

The Warwick Memorial was designed by Roy and Hugh Campbell of Warwick and built by Frank Williams & Co Ipswich in 1923 using 220 tons of Helidon sandstone and can be viewed in the southeastern corner of Leslie Park.

Warwick Memorial