Onewhero war memorials

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Onewhero’s first roll of honour was unveiled at the local school on 7 April 1916. This listed the names of ten pupils who had joined the armed forces to date: Stewart Glasgow, Edward O’Niel, John Geraghty, Stanley Ohlsen, Andrew Geraghty, John McConnell, Wallace Glasgow, Stephen Slater, James McConnell and Frank Box. It is unknown what happened to this roll of honour in later years.

A district war memorial was erected during the 1920s. However, it is unclear whether this stood outside the school or the local hall, or whether the stone gates that used to form the main entrance to the school were themselves built as war memorial gates.

Whatever form it took, the war memorial was updated after the Second World War. It was later relocated or rebuilt within the Onewhero Area School grounds. It is a plain concrete cairn inset with a granite slab listing the names of a total of 16 men who made the supreme sacrifice: L. Anderson, F. Box, D.P.G. Cole-Baker MM, C. Eyre, S.W.C. Glasgow, W.M. Glasgow, R. Gibson, C. Harvey, E.A.J.S. Slater and C. Thompson in the First World War; and C.B. Andrews, D.R.S. Dixon, E.T. Pellow, J.J. Reid, R.F. Williams and W.G. Clark in the Second.

The original school swimming pool, opened in 1946, is also a war memorial. A plaque on the side of the pool reads: “This pool was given / by the district / in memory of the / 1939-45 servicemen”. The row of native trees along the school’s Hall Road frontage may have been planted as memorial trees about this time.

The Onewhero Second World War roll of honour hangs in the lobby of the Onewhero School & Community Hall. It was transferred from the old Onewhero hall when the new hall was opened in February 1989. It lists the names of 64 servicemen, six of whom were killed in action.

Sources: ‘Onewhero: In Honour of the Brave’, Pukekohe & Waiuku Times, 7/4/1926, p. 1; Joyce and Eddie Fox, Onewhero Special Settlement, 1886-1986, Tuakau, 1986, pp. 13, 20, 24; One Hundred Years of Education in Onewhero, Onewhero, 1991, pp. 5, 10, 15, 23.

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