Cambridge District War Memorial

The Cambridge District War Memorial was unveiled by Governor-General Viscount Jellicoe on 11 December 1923.

The memorial, designed by Auckland architect Nigel Wallnutt, was situated in Jubilee Gardens, in front of the Cambridge Town Hall. It was laid out in the shape of a cross, at the crux of which was a sandstone obelisk with crosses formed in relief on all four sides. The obelisk was inscribed on the eastern side: “To the Glory of God and to the Immortal Memory of the Cambridge men who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918”; and on the western side: “They shall be as the Stones of a Crown lifted up as an ensign upon the land” [Zech. 9: 16]. On the northern side was a marble sculpture by Richard Gross of a New Zealand soldier stripped to the waist (as at Gallipoli): this represented Youth giving up his life in service. The recumbent lion sprawled at the southern side represented imperial loyalties. At the foot of the cross, some distance from the obelisk, was a sandstone sarcophagus. This bore three bronze panels, the central one was inscribed, “Tell Britain / ye that mark / this Monument / faithful to her / we fell and / rest content”; the flanking panels listed 74 names.

The latter two panels have since been replaced by granite tablets incised with a total of 94 names. Two additional freestanding pillars have been added on either side of the sarcophagus which support tablets listing 75 names from the Second World War. A tablet honouring service in later wars has also been placed on the base of the sarcophagus.

See: ‘Now Westward Gone’, Waikato Times, 12/12/1923, p. 6; ‘Our Glorious Dead’, Waikato Independent, 13/12/1923, p. 5; Jock Phillips, To the Memory: New Zealand’s War Memorials, Nelson, 2016, pp. 156-7

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