Hawera First World War memorial

The Hawera District Peace Memorial (as it was originally called) was unveiled in Princes Street by Prime Minister W.F. Massey on 11 June 1924.

The 28-foot high arch, designed by local architects Duffill and Gibson, was built mostly of Oamaru stone set on a granite base. Takaka marble was used for the four small inner columns. The inscription above the apex of the arch read: IN GRATEFUL / REMEMBRANCE / OF OUR HEROES WHO DIED / AND THANKSGIVING / FOR THOSE WHO RETURNED.

The names of 132 men from the district who had given their lives were inscribed on marble plaques set into the arch. Another 75 names were added after the Second World War. In later years, plaques were placed on the front of the arch to commemorate service in Japan, Korea, Malaya and Borneo and Vietnam; and in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of VE Day. For transcriptions of the inscriptions and a complete list of names see ‘Hawera Memorial Arch’ on Kete New Plymouth.

A landscaped garden of remembrance was developed behind the arch in 1965. The Hawera Returned and Services’ Club building (now the home of the South Taranaki RSA), opened in 1921, also forms part of the memorial precinct.

See also: ‘Hawera’s Memorial Arch’, Hawera & Normanby Star, 29/3/1924, p. 6; ‘The Great War’, Hawera & Normanby Star, 12 June 1924, p.12; ‘Memorial Arch’, Hawera & Normanby Star, 21/10/1924, p. 7; A.P.C. Bromley, Hawera: An Outline of the Development of a New Zealand Community, Hawera, 1981, pp. 98, 152; Chris Cochran, Hawera Town Centre Heritage Inventory, rev. ed., Hawera, 2003, pp. 83-5.


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