Rangiriri First World War memorial

Rangiriri First World War memorial

Rangiriri First World War Memorial gates

The Rangiriri First World War memorial consisted of memorial gates with brick pillars erected at the entrance to the Rangiriri Domain. The central pillar had a marble tablet inscribed simply with the words “Lest We Forget / 1914-1918”. There was no roll of honour, although the names of 26 soldiers from Rangiriri who served during the First World War, including three who died (Private Alexander Bosse, Sapper Martin de Thierry, and Quartermaster Sergeant Robert Hodge) are listed in Jenny Kelly’s book, Rangiriri Lives & Times, 1870-1970, Hamilton, 2015 (p. 118).

The domain originally extended from the western side of the Great South Road to the banks of the Waikato River. The last major event hosted there was the Rangiriri Centenary celebration in 1963. The following year the Domain was bisected when a bypass was constructed between the township and the river, and the gates were left in an orphaned and subsequently neglected state on the small remaining plot of grass between the bypass and the old Great South Road.

In 2015 the pillars were removed to allow for work on the Waikato Expressway. The NZ Transport Agency plans to consult with the Waikato District Council and the local community over their replacement and the redevelopment of the site.

The sad, neglected war memorial at Rangiriri. It may have been the gate way into a park or something similar but all that remains behind the small pillars is a broken concrete slab. SH 1 runs only a few meters behind this memorial which makes a mockery of the sentiment 'Lest we forget.' -Des Drummond, 2009

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R Manderson

Posted: 20 Feb 2019

Looking a bit smarter now than the photo would suggest as the road works have largely been completed. These memorial pillars pictured are adjacent to the old Rangiriri cemetery, which records names of some who died in the land wars of the 1860s as well as early european settlers.

Jenny Kelly

Posted: 27 Mar 2015

The picture looks to be the remains of the Rangiriri Domain gates. There were events on the Domain to mark the centenary of the Battle in November 1963. The Domain and these gate remnants have now been completely demolished as construction of the Waikato Expressway takes place.