Eltham First World War memorial gates

Eltham war memorial gates Eltham war memorial gates Eltham war memorial gates Eltham war memorial gates Eltham war memorial gates Eltham war memorial gates Eltham war memorial gates Eltham war memorial gates

The Minister of Agriculture, J.O. Hawkin, unveiled the Eltham First World War memorial gates on 11 November 1926. These had been erected at the main entrance to the newly reopened Eltham District High School in Conway Road. Designed by local cabinetmaker Oscar Manley, the gates featured two substantial double-arched and parapeted pillars each flanked on its outer side by a stretch of low curved wall. Dedicatory tablets were placed in niches above each pillar’s arches and (perhaps at a later date) six black granite plaques listing the names of 296 servicemen were set into their lower course.

After the Second World War, seven further tablets with another 403 names were added. These were formally unveiled on 25 April 1954. About this time the original dedications were either or replaced or reworded to read as follows: IN HONOUR OF / THOSE WHO SERVED / WORLD WARS / 1914-18. 1939-45. // IN MEMORY OF / THOSE WHO FELL / WORLD WARS / 1914-18. 1939-45.

The roll of honour thus consists of seventeen black marble tablets listing a total of almost 700 names in two alphabetical sequences. Facing the gate, the Second World War sequence begins with the furthest tablet to the left and continues through the next four tablets; the First World War sequence then begins with the sixth tablet from the left, continues through the four tablets on the pillars, and ends with the first tablet on the right-hand section of the curved wall; the Second World War sequence then resumes for the final six tablets, ending with the seventeenth tablet, which itself is set on a straight section of the wall.

Transcriptions of the First World War names are found on ‘Eltham War Memorial’, Kete New Plymouth.

See: ‘Eltham War Memorial’, Taranaki Herald, 1/10/1949; ‘Eltham’, Taranaki Daily News, 26/4/1954, p. 9; Russell Standish, Eltham One Hundred Years, Eltham, 1984, pp. 143-4; Alison Crafar, Eltham Public School: 100 Years, Eltham, 1986, [photograph, p. 18, see also pp. 20, 46]; Jock Phillips, To the Memory: New Zealand’s War Memorials, Nelson, 2016, pp. 10, 122.

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