Labrosse memorial, Whakapirau

The isolated but charmingly situated Anglican church of St Alban’s at Whakapirau contains one South African War memorial. This is a brass-and-wood plaque inscribed as follows: SACRED / TO THE BELOVED MEMORY OF / Tyrell de Labrosse / OF THIS PARISH / TROOPER 8TH NEW ZEALAND CONTINGENT / WHO DIED AT SEA ON HIS WAY HOME FROM / SOUTH AFRICA /  July 17th 1903. Aged 31. / - / “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE” / - / Yea, though I walk though the valley of the shadow of death [etc.]

Curiously the date given on the plaque is incorrect: Trooper de Labrosse died on 17 July 1902, not 17 July 1903. A memorial service was held at the church in October 1902, presumably at which time the memorial plaque was unveiled.

See: ‘Death of an Aucklander’, Auckland Star, 23/7/1902, p. 5; ‘Whakapirau’, Auckland Star, 31/10/1902, p. 6; St Alban’s Church (Anglican), Heritage New Zealand, 2009.

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