Mātapu war memorials

Mātapu war memorials

Matapu war memorials Matapu war memorials Matapu war memorials Matapu war memorials Matapu war memorials

The Mātapu First World War memorial was unveiled in the local school grounds by Mayor of Hawera Mr E. Dixon on 6 October 1920. The granite obelisk was inscribed on three sides with the names of a total of 20 local men who had given their lives. Three further names were added after the Second World War.

On the day that he unveiled the memorial, Mr Dixon also unveiled the Mātapu District roll of honour in the nearby public hall. The elaborately carved wooden board listed 30 names (but, curiously, did not include all the names on the cenotaph). Along with two other local rolls of honour, it remains on display in the new hall (built in 1955).

The Mātapu School First World War roll of honour, a rimu tablet donated to the school by Mrs McL’Dowie in memory of her son, Kenneth, who had been a first-day pupil at the school, lists the names of 60 men and two women (Sisters M. Muir and G. Woodruffe). The Mātapu World War II roll of honour is a decorated wooden tablet which lists 27 names. Atypically, perhaps, it specifies awards (W.J. Walsh DFC; W.G. Judson DFC), prisoner of war status (R.G. Gally and R.H. Powell) and place of death (C.D.B. Schwass, Senio River, Italy; L.E. Brisco, Italy; G. Fewtrell, El Alamein).

See: ‘Soldiers’ Memorials: Unveiling Ceremony at Matapu’, Hawera & Normanby Star, 7/10/1920, p. 4; C.W. Cairncross, Matupu School and District 75th Jubilee, Eltham, 1963, pp. 14, 17-19, Felicity Willis and Neil Walker, Matapu School and District Centennial, 1888-1988, Matapu, 1988, [pp. 1, 8, 27, 36].


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Posted: 19 Apr 2018

My grandfather Robert Bruce Fowler was working as a dairyman for J.A.Douglas of Matapu, and living on his farm when he signed up for war in August 1914. He didn't come from the district originally, and when he returned to NZ in 1919 he settled in Otago, so that probably explains why his name was not recorded on this memorial.


Posted: 19 Aug 2010

Please can we have a list of the names on the memorial on this site as well as a picture?


Posted: 03 Jun 2009

i go 2 dis school