Father Patrick Dore memorials, Foxton

Front view of gravestone with Celtic cross at the top

Brass plaque inlaid into ground between two crosses.

Father Patrick Dore, parish priest of St Mary's Catholic Church, Foxton, volunteered for service as a military chaplain on the outbreak of the First World War. On 22 August 1915, while tending to wounded soldiers on the battlefield at Gallipoli, Chaplain-Captain Dore was himself shot in the base of the spine. Awarded the Military Cross (MC), he returned to New Zealand in 1916, but never fully recovered from his wound. He died in Auckland on 15 July 1918 and was buried in the Foxton cemetery three days later.

A Father Dore Memorial Committee was formed soon afterwards to raise funds to build a church in his memory. The memorial church did not eventuate, but some of the money was used instead to erect a memorial over Fr Dore's grave. This had been completed by the first anniversary of his death. It was an eight-foot high Celtic cross constructed from Coromandel granite and mounted on a four-stepped pedestal. The inscription read: "Of your charity / - / Pray for the repose of the / Soul of / the Rev. Patrick Dore / P.P., Foxton, / Who died July 15th, 1918, / aged 33 years. / 'On whose soul, Sweet Jesus, / - / have mercy'. / - / R.I.P."

In 1922 the Auckland RSA presented a brass memorial plaque to St Mary's. This was inscribed: "To the Glory of God / & in memory of / Rev. Father Dore / Chaplain to N.Z. Forces / - / Erected by the members of the / Auckland Returned / Soldiers Association". In 1982 it was placed beside a memorial driveway laid in the St Mary's Church grounds.

See: 'Burial of Father Dore', Manawatu Times, 19/7/1918, p. 5; 'The late Father Dore: memorial church to be built at Foxton’, Manawatu Times, 30/7/1918, p. 5; ‘Memorial to Father Dore: an appeal’, NZ Tablet, 1/8/1918, p. 27; ‘Father Dore Memorial Church, Foxton’, NZ Tablet, 22/8/1918, p. 25; 'In memoriam: the late Father Dore', Horowhenua Chronicle, 2/7/1919, p. 4; ‘Personal matters ... tablet in memory of the late Father Dore’, Evening Post, 16/10/1922, p. 8; St Mary's Church, Foxton, 1881-1981, Foxton, 1981, p. 23; Horowhenua and the Great War, 1914-1918, comp. Linda Fletcher, Levin, 2014, pp. 89-91, 180; Roger Lang and Jennifer Lang-Betham, The Chaplains of Anzac: New Zealand’s Fallen Chaplains of the Great War, Lang Book Publishing, 2015, pp. 45-51; 'A tribute to WWI Chaplain Fr Patrick Dore', Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington, 2018.

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