Levin war memorial

Levin war memorial

The Levin cenotaph or Stone of Remembrance was unveiled in the Levin Public Gardens by Major General Sir Edward Chaytor on 11 March 1923. (It was not Levin's only First World War memorial: one month later, Prime Minister W.F. Massey formally opened the Weraroa Peace Gate on the Weraroa Domain at the southern end of town.)

The cenotaph was an imposing structure of Nelson marble mounted on a rockery or raised garden. The tablet at the back was inscribed: "In Remembrance / of the men of the district / who laid down their lives / in the Great War / 1914-1918 / Their names live for evermore". The Roll of Honour at the front listed 64 names. There was a cross on each side.

In 2007 a project to upgrade the memorial began. As the result of research undertaken by members of  'Adopt an Anzac', a plaque correcting six of the names was placed at the foot of the cenotaph in 2009. The rock garden was removed and an imposing flight of steps was constructed. A low curved wall was built behind the cenotaph to display four new memorial panels: the first listed two South African War casualties and 13 additional First World War names; the second was a near-replica of the Second World War II roll of honour unveiled in the Levin War Memorial Hall in 1953; the third listed nine additional Second World War names and one Korean War name (G.R.M. Thomas, who had previously appeared on the Second World War roll of honour); the fourth acknowledged service in these and other conflicts ("They served / We remember the local men and women / who served in overseas conflicts / and have gone before us").

The revamped memorial was rededicated on 24 April 2010. The park in which it stands was formally renamed Remembrance Park on 27 August 2010.

See: '"Stone of Remembrance": fallen soldiers' memorial unveiled', Levin Chronicle, 15/3/1923, p. 3; Linda Fletcher, Horowhenua and the Great War, 1914-1918, Levin, 2014, pp. 17-83, 216-219; Linda Fletcher, Remembering ... Horowhenua and the Second World War, Levin, 2014, pp. 15-60.

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Posted: 04 May 2012

Hi Dennis, thanks very much for letting us know about these upgrades to the memorial site. If you or anyone else is able to provide some updated images for our page, please email us at [email protected]

Dennis C Cole

Posted: 04 May 2012

A Trust known as "Adopt an Anzac" (Horowhenua District War Memorials Project Committee) has undertaken a major upgrade of the Levin Cenotaph since the last photo as credited to Glennis Austin -2005.
Adopt an Anzac commenced its work in fund-raising for the Levin Cenotaph in 2007, working towards providing this memorial area with additional plaques covering the Boer War, World War 11 and the Korean War which were not covered at the original Cenotaph.In addition, plaques were created for Levin & District war dead that were "not recorded locally", totalling 49 extra men being provided for-28 from World War 1 ans 21 from World War 11. In addition to providing two wing walls to cater for the additional plaques, work was carried out to stabilise the Cenotaph, as well as providing better public access by way of concrete steps and wheel chair ramps. Now set on a raised mound the Cenotaph with its two flag poles, uplighting to illuminate the cenotaph and plaques with subdued lighting presents a very positive and fitting memorial to our war dead.
This upgraded area was unveiled at a special ceremony on the 24th April 2010 just in time for Anzac Day 2010. to complement the whole development a Poppy Box Plaza was established. This comprises 25 individually named poppy boxes which are illuminated at night and provide a very moving tribute to the past servicepersons of our district.
The work carried out by Adopt an Anzac and so strongly supported by Companies, tradespersons and individuals has future proofed the original Cenotaph and made it a pleasant and respectful place to remember our war dead, now and into the future.