Maungakaramea memorials

Maungakaramea memorials

Maungakaramea war memorial Maungakaramea war memorial Maungakaramea war memorial

Maungakaramea war memorial.

Maungakaramea World War 1 memorial - extra information

Thanks to Judy and Colin Lamb for supplying this information

Where located: Tangihua Road, Maungakaramea.

Where situated: in a sports ground

Estimate of its dimensions: 15 feet high obelisk, 4 feet square at base

Ornamentation on the memorial: Silver ferns are painted on the tapered section of the obelisk, above inscriptions on the two sides listing WWI soldiers. Scrolls are inscribed on either side of the words "In memory of" above lists of names.

Materials used: Coromandel granite (dark), offset on grey concrete base. Square concrete posts approximately a metre high are set at each corner and the centre point of the sides. Entrances are flanked at the front and back of the obelisk by concrete posts. A low concrete wall runs between the posts, with two pipes at equal spacing above it. On the side leading to the WWI inscribed sides of the obelisk, gudgeons mark the place where a gate was once hung. There was no gate at the back, where the concrete base is higher over sloping ground.


Details from page 253, 'Maungakaramea Past and Present', 1985, published by Maungakaramea Reserve Board, by B O'Shea.

'Maungakaramea was the first district in the north to erect a memorial in honour of local men who fought and died in World War 1. Costing 200 pounds, it was described in a newspaper article as "a massive Coromandel Granite obelisk, measuring 15 feet by 4 feet at the base". It was made by Mr. E.C. Kerr of Whangarei and carries the names of twelve local soldiers who died in the war. Mr Mander M.P. officiated at the unveiling and a wreath was laid by local residents.'

Names and ditto marks of WW I deceased soldiers are inscribed below a silver fern and above other wording. WW II names do not have a silver fern above them. Inscriptions are as follows:

North East face:

In memory of

P'TE H.G.Tavinor 4th Oct 1917, France

G'NR L.B. Hayward 7th " " "

L-C'PL D. Hannam 19th Nov " "

P'TE G.A.Thornton 4th Dec " "

G'NR W.J. Gunson 11th Jan 1918 "

P'TE E.C. Cook 18th " " "

Erected by the Residents of
in honour of the boys who fell in
The Great Wars
1914 - 1918
1939 - 1945

North West face:

In Memory of

P'TE W.J. Pickup 22nd June 1915 Gallipoli

" A. D. Cook 8th Aug " "

Cpl C. Steel 20th Feb 1918 Palestine

T'PR D.M. McConnell 30th Mar " "

" D.Walker " " " "

" F.O.O'Carroll 11th Oct " "

The fittest place that man can die
is where he died for man.


South East face:

In memory of

P'TE P. Child 5th Dec 1941 N. Africa

" R.J.O'Neil 7th Dec 1943 Italy

F-SCT L.J. Waterhouse 5th Jan " Germany

1939 - 1945
Greater love has no man
than this

South West face is blank

Number of names of the dead on the monument:12 WWI, 3 WW II

Surrounds of the monument: protective fence

Condition of the memorial: Excellent, recently painted and letters easy to read.

References to published material about this memorial:

'Maungakaramea District Centenary 1859 - 1959 Souvenir Booklet' lists rolls of honour for both wars, under the statement: 'The First World War Memorial stands near the gate of the Domain, it was unveiled by the late Mr. Mander, M.P.' This statement is quoted verbatim in the 1985 publication, but the source of the statement is not acknowledged.

This memorial is used for Anzac Day services.

Maungakaramea World War Two Memorial Hall

Maungakaramea war memorial Maungakaramea war memorial Maungakaramea war memorial

Images of roll of honour boards in the hall.

While not part of the WW1 register, we are grateful for this information also supplied by Judy Lamb.

Where located: At intersection of Maungakaramea, Tangihua and Tauraroa Roads, Maungakaramea has rolls of honour on the wall listing servicemen and women of both wars.

Description: On the wall facing the hall entrance are two separate plaques. To the right is the wooden First World War plaque, which has an inset bronzed wooden(?) figure of a soldier at attention, in an alcove between two panels containing lists of painted names, under a curved top, beneath a scroll interwoven with crossed olive branches. The memorial is enclosed in a square wooden frame with 1.23metre sides with a glass front. The Second World War plaque is on the left of a central coronation picture of the queen (the hall was officially opened in 1953). It is a black granite slab 800mm high and 1.06 metres wide, with the names of servicemen and women engraved and highlighted in brown.

Ornamentation: The WW1 memorial is carved. The words "The roll of honour" are painted on a carved scroll, which is intertwined with crossed olive branches containing leaves and olives. The top of the carved memorial rises towards the centre above the scroll. Below the scroll an upward curved panel reads "Maungakaramea & Districts". The carved figure of the soldier at attention stands in an alcove, with an arched top. The two panels bearing the names are indented at each corner. Below them are two flat segments reading "+ killed +" . A small circle is carved in each lower corner. the whole memorial is encased in a glass fronted wooden frame.

Materials used: Wood. The carved soldier appears to be wooden, but is bronzed. However, the colour is so similar to the wood of the panels that it is thought to be wooden.


Names inscribed on the World War 1 Plaque are:

Maungakaramea and District, 1914 - 1918
* COOK, C.E.

Number of names of the dead on the monument: 12, WWI

Form of listing names: Surnames are listed alphabetically. There is no apparent reason for the variance in listing initials out of order. All five of the Cooks listed were
brothers, listed in the order of A.D., H., C.E., W.S., and W.E.. Their initials in order of age were W.E., W.S., H., C.E., A.D. A.D Cook died in 1915 and C. E. Cook in 1918.

Perhaps the listing is in order of their enlistment in the army or the timing of service overseas. NB C.E. Cook is listed on one district memorial as E.C. and on the other as C.E.

Surrounds of the monument: flagpole

Condition of the memorial: Excellent, recently painted and letters easy to read.

References to published material about this memorial:

"Maungakaramea District Centenary 1859 - 1959 Souvenir Booklet" states: "When the question of a War Memorial was mooted, the building of a new hall was proposed. The most suitable site was owned by Mr W. H. Gillingham, who most generously made it available accepting in exchange a section on the Bluff. Here a tribute must be paid to Mr. S. Crawford, who was a most enthusiastic worker for the project. Ad a matter of comparative interest, the cost of this hall was 14,000 pounds. It was officially opened by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Bodkin, on 6th November, 1953. Archdeacon Palmer unveiled the Roll of Honour of the Second World War. (There is no mention of the origins of the World War 1 plaque which hangs alongside - it can be presumed that it hung originally in the first district hall.

Details from page 244, "Maungakaramea Past and Present, 1985, published by Maungakaramea Reserve Board, by B O'Shea.
On September 16th 1950, 30 people met for the purpose of setting up a special committee to build a War Memorial. Stirl Crawford (Chairman), R.N.Attwood, R.E. Hudson, E.J. Porter, H. Walker, H. Wenzlick, L. Thorburn, L. W. Smith, H.B. Cowen, A. Babe. A.M.McKenzie, W.H.Gillingham (Treasurer), Mesdames Lorna Litt, May Crawford and Annie Babe, formed the Committee. They were responsible for fund raising for the project and also the plans and specifications of the hall. Public meetings were called to assess the wishes of locals on various details of the hall and its surrounds, which were very well attended, it is recorded that at times 70 people attended these meetings. Other to serve on the Memorial Committee during its three years existence were Cyril Bint, Lawrie O'Carroll and Roy Thomson.

The final meeting of Committee was held on October 5th 1953 and it was agreed that any funds of the Committee be given to the newly formed Maungakaramea Domain Board. The Memorial Hall was officially opened on November 6th, 1953 by Mr W.A. Bodkin, Minister of Internal Affairs. Archdeacon Palmer unveiled the Roll of Honour of the Second World War."

On page 245
" January 1954 an official opening of the Memorial Hall was celebrated at a social function held in the hall. This in turn followed by a dance six weeks later which was organised by the Domain Board to raise funds to assist with furnishing the hall. "

A list of charges for the hall hire at that time follows, The report continues:
"It was 1955 before the Dmain Board had money to develop the outside surroundings of the Memorial Hall, At this time the area in front of the hall was tarsealed for parking. The first Anniversary Ball held to celebrate the building of the Memorial Hall was a great success, This function was held annually for some years and as well as being recognised as an occasion which enabled the whole district to celebrate their achievement it also contributed greatly to the financial state of the Board. By June of 1956 the then Chairman Mr R.N. Attwood was able to confirm that the hall debt had been reduced to zero. The building venture only needed the roof to be painted and it was complete. This wonderful achievement reflected the remarkable dedication of the then Domain Board and all the supporting sports bodies and Societies of the district."

Page 241 states " The present Library is included in the War Memorial Hall Building and is largely responsible for the invaluable source of material available to us for research for this book. Many original minute books have been kept and some remain in remarkably good order. The fascinating hand writing of earlier years is also a record of the high standard of education achieved locally at a time when learning was a result of personal discomfort, inconvenience and effort. Maungakaramea Public Library presently is the home of over 800 books, many of them the originals. The Country Library Service provides 200 books which are swapped every four months. Maungakaramea library, which celebrated its Centenary in 1978 has mellowed with its years,, The subject matter of its books has become somewhat lighter."

Further comments: Prior to the completion of excellent sports clubrooms in the district, the hall was used several times a month for dances for kitchen evenings, weddings, 21st birthdays, district welcomes and farewells, and sports fundraisers including annual balls. Movies were shown there fortnightly in the 1950s and early 1960s. The Playcentre used the hall and grounds in the 1970s. In the 1980s the local badminton club and a drama group were strong, and line dancing was taught there in the 1990s.

Historic pictures are displayed in the back segment of the hall, which can be divided off as a meeting space. The honours board of the district Dog Trials are displayed there, along with those of the indoor bowling club.

During a refurbishment in the 1980s, local artist Joanne Hardy-McNeil painted a mural on a back wall depicting the Tangihua ranges in varied times of day and seasons. The hall exterior was repainted and the kitchen was upgraded as a millennium project .The hall interior and grounds are to be refurbished soon to mark its 50 years.

Although not used for social occasions as frequently as in the past, the hall is still regularly used for indoor bowls, the annual school concert, meetings of district organisations and special occasions including wedding receptions and a recent funeral.

Community contributions

2 comments have been posted about Maungakaramea memorials

What do you know?

Stuart Park

Posted: 12 May 2015

While O'Shea's book does claim this as Northland's first memorial, he overlooked the Kaitaia Memorial, unveiled in 1916, which was the first in Northland and the third in New Zealand. Maungakaramea is thus the second Northland memorial.

Graham Logie

Posted: 10 Jul 2009

Hi..can anybody tell me of the whereabouts of the local artist mentioned in this article..'Joanne Hardy-McNeil'..if you would be so kind as to e-mail me ..thanks Graham