Paeroa South African War memorial

Paeroa's South African War memorial on Primrose Hill (Tui Kai Rangi), Paeroa, displays two memorial plaques. On 26 June 1902 a Stone of Peace was laid with the following inscription: 'This stone was laid on the 26th June 1902 / on the coronation day of / His Majesty King Edward VII / to commemorate the declaration of / peace in South Africa after the war / 1899-1902 / Peace declared 2nd June 1902 / H. Poland Chairman Ohinemuri County Council.'

Just over ten months later, on 18 May 1903, Prime Minister Richard Seddon turned on the water of  a memorial fountain erected in honour of George Bradford (the first New Zealand soldier to die in a foreign war). The inscription read:  This memorial / was erected by public subscription / in memory of / George Roland Bradford / Sergt Major 2nd Battalion (Hauraki) / Infantry Volunteers / who died of wounds received at Jasfontein, / South Africa, 18th December 1899 / He was the first from any of the colonial / contingents to give his life for the Empire /  "A soldier and a man"

The three dish granite fountain had been made in Italy. Sometime during the 1950s vandals smashed the two upper dishes. A quartz boulder from Charles Bradford's Karangahake farm was then cemented in place instead. Both memorial plaques have more recently been renewed.

See: 'Coronation day: the Paeroa celebrations', Ohinemuri Gazette, 11/8/1902, p. 2; 'A soldier's memorial: fountain unveiled at Paeroa', NZ Herald, 18/5/1903, p. 6; Graham Watton, 'Paeroa's memorials', Ohinemuri Regional History Journal, no. 48, September 2004. 

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