Ugly truth revealed
THEY called themselves the Ugly Men and like our nation’s war veterans from the past 100 years, they too have very good reason to be remembered this Sunday.
The Ugly Men’s Association was, in many respects, a precursor to welfare and support organisations such as Legacy and Soldier On, providing assistance to our first returned servicemen.
South Perth Ugly Men’s Association members built houses for men who had returned from war and held activities to raise money for war widows.
A tiny house built for William Miller Kirk at 49 Arlington Avenue, South Perth, was immortalised in a 1918 photograph as their first job completed.
While the house has since been replaced, the photograph will be part of a memorabilia display at Sunday’s South Perth Remembrance Day service.
The association’s name came from their role in a popular fundraising activity of the time.
“At fundraising functions, participants would purchase tickets, which would allow them to cast a vote for the ‘ugliest man’ in the South Perth district,” historian Bill Gleeson said.
“It was a show of solidarity with the wounded and disfigured men who referred to themselves as Stumpies and Wingies as a result of losing an arm or leg during World War I.”
South Perth RSL Sub-Branch president Justin Regan and historian Bill Gleeson.