Northcote war memorial

Northcote war memorial

Interior Dedication Plaque Dedication Plaque Sword

The Northcote district roll of honour was unveiled in the Northcote Borough Council chambers on 20 October 1917. At the time, it listed 164 men who had volunteered for active service, including 21 who been killed in action, as well as the names of three nurses (Emily Nutsey, Amy Metge and Phoebe Warner). The roll was updated at the end of the war to include a total of 184 names, including 27 men who had died.

Proposals for a more substantial memorial after the war discussed building a war memorial town hall and a war memorial recreation ground. Eventually a war memorial bus shelter was built instead, using funds raised by the Northcote Women’s Progressive League. The bus shelter was unveiled at the intersection of Lake and Onewa Roads on 14 February 1926. It was quite a substantial building: a loggia in the Italian Renaissance style with walls of white dressed stone, a roof of red tiles, and a floor of decorated marble. The architects, Grierson Aimer and Draffin, were to become better known for their work on the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The shelter had arched openings at the front and on either side. A semi-circular apse was built into the rear wall to serve as a memorial shrine. This was protected by a wrought-iron grille which incorporated a crusader’s sword and the letters ‘NZEF’ (New Zealand Expeditionary Force’). The names of 29 men who had died in the war were inscribed in gold on the marble walls of the apse. A pergola behind the shelter gave direct access to the grounds of Northcote Primary School.

After the Second World War, the dedicatory inscription was updated and another 20 names were added. In 1959 the memorial was declared a traffic hazard. The local RSA supported a proposal to replace it with a new shrine near the Northcote District War Memorial building in Rodney Road. However, the shelter remains largely intact on its original site to the present day, although the lamp of remembrance has been removed, and two dedicatory marble panels were added to the front columns in 1989.

The following names from the First World War are inscribed within the apse: C.G. Adams, W. Boyd, J.B. Cairnie, D.P. Campbell, J.R. Clark, L.G. Clark, S.H. Hanlon, S.W. Hardie, E. Hatrick, J.G. Hatrick, J.N. Hayes, M.W. Hayes, J.G. Jackson, T.H. Maxwell, A. Mincher, R.F. McClymont, J.J. Mulhern, C. Nutsey, L.A. O’Leary, M.B. Randrup, P. Ravenhill, T. Rice, G.T. Roberts, J.T. Robinson, F.W. Stayte, S.E. Thomas, H.L. Trotman, M. Vipond, E. Faulkner. These are the names from the Second World War: T.S. Barclay, J. Cronan, S.S. Draffin N.C. Duke, I. Fryer, B.R.J. Hay, R.H. Johnston, A.K. Jordan, W.MacNamara, R.H.J. Broady, F.C. Jones; M.R. Mutton, I.S. Neil, G.W. Nevill, J.W. Stockley, J. Speight, C.J. Taylor, E. Turner, R.H. Tye, J.B. Honan.

Sources: ‘Roll of Honour Unveiled’, NZ Herald, 22/10/1917, p. 4; ‘Northcote Soldiers Honoured’, Auckland Star, 22/10/1917, p. 2; ‘Northcote War Memorial: Alternative Schemes Mooted’, NZ Herald, 11/7/1919, p. 9; ‘War Memorial Shrine: The Northcote Edifice’, NZ Herald, 13/2/1926, p. 11; ‘War Memorial: Unveiling Ceremony at Northcote’, Auckland Star, 15/2/1926, p. 9; ‘Monument To Be Moved: Northcote Decision’, NZ Herald, 16/4/1959; ‘Memorial to Remain at Northcote’, NZ Herald, 21/3/1963; Judith Christmas, A History of Northcote, Northcote, 1983, pp. 34-5, 44; Phillip D. Jackson, North Shore War Memorials, the author, 1991, N1/1-4.


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Glenis Green ( Nee CONNELLY)

Posted: 25 Apr 2015

Thank you to the community of Northcote for looking after the War Memorial. It looks great,
My mothers only brother has his name on the wall Norman Chaplin Duke, Norman was killed at the begin of April 1945 by the end of April the war was over.