Maheno war memorial cenotaph

Maheno war memorial cenotaph

First World War memorial at Maheno in North Otago

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The memorial comprises a traditional cenotaph in Oamaru Limestone and it bears two very large tablets at the base and at the top two wreaths and two swords, all in bronze. It is located near the Maheno memorial church.

The swords are on the East and West faces and they lie between the enormous stone crosses which form the North and South faces.

The wreaths lie on the face of these crosses at the junction of the arms and the whole is charged with symbolism.

The wreaths are about 2200mm from top to bottom and the swords are over 4000mm long and by any standards this is an imposing cenotaph particularly for a small regional centre. Maheno is just and only just a town!

The cenotaph looks to be 13 metres tall and about 4 metres square at the base and it rests on two concrete steps.

The inscriptions are on two large (2000 x 1000) thick bronze tablets. The tablet on the Northern face bears the reproduced signature of George V and his crest with a personal homily and so must be rather unusual. The tablet on the South face carries the names of 42 service persons and two Roman torches (faxii) with the inscription 'OUR GLORIOUS DEAD - THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVER MORE'

The cenotaph is in dire need of a clean to restore it to magnificence.

The names recorded on the tablet are;

Andrew Anderson
James Angus
Eddie Percy Appelbe [see commmunity contribution below - this looks like it was the wrong Appelbe brother]
Charles Barr
Cyril Bateman
James Burgess
William Calder
Alexander Cruickshank
Alexander Dewar
David Blackie Dewar
Hugh Dunlop
Robert Galbraith
Charles Harvey
James Harvey
Ernest Ellis Islip
Charles Jackman
David Allan Kininmont
William Kininmont
Alexander Ledingham
Ebenezer Lindsay
Alexander Mathieson
John Mathieson
William James Muldrew
Andrew McBeath
William McNeill
Cyril Robert Nichols
Joseph Cowie Nichols
Walter Harvey Nichols
Mark Nicholson
James Jarvie Orr
Robert Charles Orr
William John Orr
James Pullenger
David Robb
Alexander Shaw
John Stewart
Ernest Timblick
Alfred William Wilson
Edward Wilson
James Robert Edmoncson Wilson
Bertram Wright
Robert Youngson

How many of these names already appear on other memorials around North Otago isn't clear to me without analysis, but it appears that this is some sort of "overarching" North Otago war memorial.

In addition a small bronze plate at the entrance gates to the Memorial Reserve records the names of service personnel who were killed in WWII.

Community contributions

7 comments have been posted about Maheno war memorial cenotaph

What do you know?

Denis Sandri

Posted: 11 Dec 2020

Robert Youngson at the very bottom on the cenotaph was my grandfathers cousin. According to the family history compilation Robert died on the 31st of August 1915 during the Gallipoli campaign. He unfortunately died from dysentery on board the H.T. Hunts Green which was a hospital ship. His rank was Trooper in the Otago Mounted Rifles.

Freya Janet Kerr

Posted: 11 Oct 2017

My great uncle, Ebenezer Lindsay's, name is spelt incorrectly in the list. There should be only one e.

Bruce Comfort

Posted: 28 Apr 2014

I photographed this cenotaph and transcribed the names and I agree with MfCH that the third name down is Appelbe Eddie Percy. From my very limited knowledge of the persons memorialised on the war memorials I have recorded and the very few comments such as your Trevor, such mistakes are rare. The information you have provided is now permanently recorded on The Memorials Register (web page) but changing the bronze tablet might be quite another issue. Whereabouts in North Otago do you think Albert Appelbe is correctly memorialised? There are over 40 war memorials in North Otago/Waitaki and all are photograpahed in sufficient detail on this page

I believe for you to find Albert's local memorial.


Posted: 24 Apr 2014

Hi Trevor. Thanks very much for this information. The transcript we provide is what is listed on the memorial plaque, so it looks like the memorial itself would need to be changed. Your best first step might be to contact the local RSA and see if they can help with this. Regards, Jamie Mackay

Trevor Hobbs

Posted: 23 Apr 2014

My name is Trevor Hobbs and I am the Great Nephew of Albert Appelbe who was killed in action (the fight for Gravenstafel) on 4 October 1917
Unfortunately you have listed his brother, Edward Percy Appelbe on the Maheno First World War Memorial as having been killed in Action during the First World war instead of Albert (Bert)
(Edward did volunteer to go to the war but he was turned down for medical reasons)
Edward died in Dunedin in 1978
I would really appreciate it if this mistake could be corrected
Thanking you in anticipation
Trevor Hobbs (Great Nephew of William, Albert and Edward Appelbe)