Newmarket war memorial

Newmarket war memorial

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Prime Minister W.F. Massey unveiled the Newmarket First World War memorial on 8 June 1924. The stone memorial arch was situated on the intersection of Broadway and Davis Crescent, at the northern entrance to the borough. It bore the names of 31 servicemen. Later in the day, the Prime Minister also unveiled the Borough of Newmarket roll of honour board in the municipal hall. This listed 187 names.

When the Newmarket Olympic swimming pool was developed the memorial arch was demolished. The commemorative tablets from the arch were transferred to a purpose-built niche set in the northern exterior wall of the swimming pool building. The swimming pool was formally opened on 17 February 1940. The pool itself was not a war memorial—presumably the memorial wall was separately consecrated.

The names of Newmarket’s fallen from the Second World War were later added to the memorial wall.

In 1994 the pool complex was comprehensively redeveloped. Several years later the Olympic Reserve at the northern end of the pool was also redeveloped. The memorial tablets were transferred from their niche to three large free-standing polished granite slabs within the park. The reserve was formally reopened in February 2002.

An old cannon, which originally dated from the ‘Russian scare’ of the 1880s, and which had been located in several different sites within Newmarket over the years, was also moved to the Olympic Reserve.

Newmarket Borough was absorbed into an enlarged Auckland City in 1989. The Newmarket Borough roll of honour board was subsequently transferred to the Auckland City Council archives. The names have been transcribed.

Sources: ‘Sacrifice of Youth: Newmarket’s Soldiers’, NZ Herald, 9/6/1924, p. 9; ‘Olympic Pool: Opening Ceremony’, Auckland Star, 17/2/1940, p. 10; ‘New home for Newmarket’s Roll of Honour’, Auckland Star, 11/4/1940, p. 5; Dinah Holman, Newmarket Heritage Study, Auckland, 1996, [p. 31]; Dinah Holman, Newmarket Lost and Found, rev. ed. Auckland, 2001, pp. 178-9; ‘Jewel in crown gets polish’, East & Bays Courier, 13/2/2002, p. 4.

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