Devereux Memorial Shield

Devereux Memorial Shield

At least twelve men from the small country town of Waiuku volunteered for service during the South African War. However, the town’s only memorial of the war is dedicated to a non-resident, Corporal Rodney Talbot Devereux. Corporal Devereux, who was killed at Rhenoster Kop on 29 January 1900, was the brother of Mrs Muriel Makgill of ‘Brackmont’, Waipipi, near Waiuku. In December 1900 members of the Waiuku Mounted Rifles and friends resolved to erect a memorial to him in Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

This took the form of a substantial memorial shield with an inscribed brass plate mounted on a mahogany board. The shield is 75 cm high and 75 cm wide. The inscription reads: ‘In memoriam / Corporal Rodney Devereux / son of the / Hon. H. De B. Devereux / who was killed in / action in the defence / of his country / in South Africa / 29th November 1900.’  In the centre is a 20 x 30 cm copper panel with a relief sculpture depicting a wounded trooper standing at defiance, with the words ‘Honour the brave’ below. The maker was an Auckland silversmith, A. Kohn.

The shield was removed from Holy Trinity when the church was closed and deconsecrated in July 2014. It is now held in the Waiuku Museum.

Sources: ‘The Boer War’, Auckland Star, 6/12/1900, p. 8; ‘The Late Corporal Devereux’, Auckland Star, 7/12/1900, p. 5; ‘Waiuku’, Auckland Star, 28/12/1900, p. 3; Heather Makgill and Val Loh, The Pioneering Baronet, Waiuku, 2000, pp. 8-1.

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