Clevedon Avenue of Remembrance

Clevedon Avenue of Remembrance

Memorial detail detail image detail image

On 9 March 1951 an avenue of totara trees planted in memory of all the district’s fallen was unveiled at a newly formed entrance to the Clevedon A & P showgrounds on Monument Road. The memorial also paid tribute to men from the district who had served in the New Zealand Wars, South African War, First World War and Second World War.

On either side of the avenue two low structures of rough-hewn stone blocks were erected, each mounted on a concrete base and framing marble tablets. Both tablets were inscribed with the RSA logo. The left-hand tablet read (in capitals): "They served in / New Zealand, 1845-1870. Africa, 1899 – 1902. / World War I, 1914 – 1918. World War 2, 1939 – 1945. / And other imperial campaigns." The right-hand tablet read: "Avenue of Remembrance / A totara grows here dedicated to each deceased / resident who served in the armed forces of the Crown / overseas during hostilities or in the Maori wars."

Clevedon, then known as Wairoa South, was the site of several armed engagements during the Waikato War. Many of its men enlisted in the Wairoa Rifle Volunteers. The district sent nine men to the South African War, all of whom returned. Eighteen local men gave their lives in the First World War and nine in the Second (the district’s First World War memorial obelisk and Second World War memorial boulder stand in a small park near the western entrance to Clevedon village).

It is unknown how many totara trees were originally planted, but today there are a total of 63. The avenue of remembrance, which for some years served as the main entrance to the Clevedon showgrounds, is currently Gate no. 4.

Sources: C.C. Munro, Clevedon Centennial, 1952, p. 35; Fraser Murray, Yesteryears: Book Two, 2009, p. 216.

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