This war memorial is a sandstone pedestal and water fountain, topped with a statue of a soldier wearing a slouch hat and holding a rifle. Eight marble tablets are attached to the pedestal. One tablet bears the dedication and the other seven list the names of men who served in the First World War. Above the tablets, the sandstone is carved to represent a shroud. Below the tablets is the 'Rising Sun' emblem of the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces, carved from the sandstone.
The whole memorial is set on a circular base of orange tiles, in the centre of which is a white eight-point star in a circle of black tiles. A flagpole stands to one side of the memorial. A series of smaller plaques have been installed in nearby garden beds, in honour of returned servicemen who later died.
The memorial is located in Woodward Memorial Park in Thirroul, NSW. The park lies within the boundary of Sydney Trains-controlled land, next to Thirroul Railway Station. The park provides a path from the community carpark to the station entrance.
There is an archway at the entrance to Woodward Memorial Park facing Lawrence Hargrave Drive, which was erected in memory of William Woodward for his service to local community, possibly in 1977 when the park was officially gazetted. It comprises a pair of tall brick piers, with a metal arch overhead. The arch reads 'Lest we forget' and incorporates a rising sun in the design. Three small brass insignia are attached to the overhead beam, for the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force, and Royal Australian Navy. Behind the archway is a brick footpath that leads to the memorial. It is lined with flower beds that continue in a circle around the base of the pedestal.
The memorial was erected in 1919 on the corner of Railway Parade and is considered the oldest First World War monument in the Illawarra. Its foundation stone was laid on 18 October 1919 by Mrs Arnold Higgins. The official unveiling was performed by Mrs "Grannie" Riach on Anzac Day, 25 April 1920.
In 1978, the memorial was hit and damaged by a truck. It was repaired, although the fountains ceased to function, and moved to outside the Thirroul RSL. It was moved a short distance to its present position in 1996 when the RSL building was replaced by a church. The area around the memorial was landscaped by unemployed youths who laid out paths and set out gardens.
The figure of the soldier was originally white but became discoloured over the years. When the custodians discovered they could not scrub it clean, they decided to paint the uniform in the khaki colour used in the desert during the war.
After the RSL club was closed, the memorial was relocated to the park in 1996. At the same time, the nearby Thirroul RSL Sub-Branch Memorial Wall was installed, and later the adjacent memorial garden.
Also on site is a 40mm Bofor gun. The gun is accompanied by a plaque stating it came from the battle class destroyer, HMAS ANZAC II. There is also a brick plinth topped with a metal plaque inscribed with a compass, which shows the distance to landmarks in the district.