Hanover, Germany in 1864, Diedrich Ueckermann served as the Caulfield City
Council's head gardener, a position he held during the Great War. His
loyalty to Australia was brought into question prompting this report in the
Sandringham Southern Cross:
"The loyalty of Mr Uickerman [sic], head
gardener of the Caulfield Council, has been questioned, but after two
investigations the Council have expressed their confidence in him. On
Tuesday, the Council received a letter from Mrs. Perkes, asking that a
deputation of women be received to discuss the question. Mrs. Dixon
also wrote as a Red Cross worker, expressing surprise and indignation that
the gardener was still employed, and she considered the employment of
Germans in public positions was hindering recruiting. She urged the
Council to brush away the cobwebs from their eyes, and put on the cap of
The special committee appointed to
investigate the matter submitted a declaration, in which the gardener stated
he was born in Hanover in 1864, prior to its amalgamation with Germany.
His father joined the Hanoverian Army when war was declared on the
Prussians, and ten years later, not being satisfied with Prussian rule,
sailed for England. At the age of 16 years he (the gardener) left
London for Australia, where he had resided ever since. He was
naturalised, and had married an Australian-born woman of British parents.
He could not speak German; had not corresponded with the German Consul, or
anyone in Germany, and his children were taught in the Victorian State
schools. He had invested in the War Loan, and by personal effort had
assisted the Red Cross Society. Two of his brothers, who took part in
the Boer War, were wounded, and were now receiving pensions from the British
Cr. Thomson moved the adoption of the
report. He hoped that at last the people would be satisfied. The
gardener was one of the best servants of the Council. If the gardener
were not a loyal subject, he (Cr. Thomson) would have resigned long ago.
Cr. Wood seconded the motion. He
said the gardener and his family had exhibited loyalty in a manner that many
of the native-born Australians were not doing.
Cr. Phillips said the report was very
satisfactory. He ventured to say that no honest ratepayer would ask
the Council, in the face of the declaration, to discharge the gardener.
The motion was carried."