Post and Telegraph local roll of honour boards

Members of the Post and Telegraph Department initiated roll of honour boards in a number of parts of the country during the First World War. These were displayed inside the main post office in the district. All named the employees who had gone on active service, not only those who had died.

The Hamilton board (pictured), unveiled on Anzac Day 1917, was made of rimu by W.E. Burrow, a local cabinetmaker. It featured the motto ‘Deus et Libertatus’ (God and Liberty) at the top and coloured flags of various Allies with the Union Jack at the centre. Names continued to be added to the board.

Some boards were made by employees of the department. The Masterton board, unveiled in March 1917, appears to have been a framed handwritten list. It was ‘neatly executed’ by Joseph Justus of the ‘telephone staff’ and framed by W. Christie of the ‘telephone construction’ staff. [1] The Gisborne board, unveiled in March 1918, was made by a local postmaster, R.R.I. Scott. More elaborate than Masterton’s framed list, it consisted of an oak board approximately 5 feet square.

Boards were also assembled in Christchurch, Nelson and Palmerston North. It is not known whether any of these boards survive. 

The Post and Telegraph Department developed a national roll of honour board which listed the names and ranks of all those wounded or killed during the First World War. It is now held unframed at Archives New Zealand.

[1] Wairarapa Daily Times, 29 March 1917, p. 5 (PapersPast)

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