Napier Cathedral war memorials

Napier Cathedral war memorials Napier Cathedral war memorials Napier Cathedral war memorials Napier Cathedral war memorials Napier Cathedral war memorials Napier Cathedral war memorials Napier Cathedral war memorials

R.D.D. Maclean MP unveiled the stone Cross of Sacrifice outside the Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist, Napier, on Trinity Sunday (15 June) 1924. The base was inscribed:

IN HONOURED MEMORY / OF ALL THOSE FROM / HAWKES BAY / WHO SERVED IN THE GREAT WAR / 1914 – 1918 / - / THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE.

The well-built granite cross survived the Napier earthquake of 3 February 1931, although the cathedral church behind it (consecrated in 1886) did not. A ‘temporary’ replacement cathedral building was dedicated on 18 October 1932.

Several of the memorials in the old cathedral had been lost in the earthquake (these included a plaque dedicated to the Reverend Carl Sylvius Volkner and a memorial to the men of the parish who had served in the South African War). Others had survived, including a New Zealand Wars plaque dedicated to Oswald Carr and Davis Canning, who had been killed at Ruakiture on 8 August 1868; First World War plaques dedicated to C. Keith Kilgour Ward (d. 27 July 1917), Second Lieutenant Lewis Jardine (d. 25 September 1916) and Corporal Roy A.E. Skelton (d. 15 September 1916); and a plaque in memory of Henare Wepiha Te Wainohu, who had served as chaplain in Gallipoli and France, but who died on 1 October 1920.

These were all placed in the temporary cathedral. Charles Ward’s plaque was given an additional inscription: “This tablet was [sic] through the Napier earthquake fire”.

In April 1947 they were joined by the cathedral parish’s Second World War memorial, a richly carved Altar of Remembrance.

The new cathedral was dedicated in two stages, in February 1960 and in March 1965, and was consecrated on 17 November 1967. The war memorial altar was given pride of place in the sanctuary, but the other memorial items were now placed in a more secluded position in the ambulatory.

Sources: Diocese of Waiapu Year Book, 1924, p. 39; ‘Cathedral Has Risen from Rubble’, NZ Herald, 19/2/1960; ‘Dedication of New Cathedral’, NZ Herald, 25/2/1960; Waiapu Cathedral: Birth, Death and Resurrection, Napier, 1966, pp. 15, 23; S.W. Grant, The Resurrection and the Life: A Centennial History of the Cathedrals of St John the Evangelist, Napier, 1986; Judy Mills, A Parish Story, Napier, 1986, p. 16.

For more images and further information on the Great War Memorial Cross visit the Napier City Council website.

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