St John's College Roll of Honour, Meadowbank

St John's College Roll of Honour, Meadowbank

Memorial plaque

St John’s College, Auckland’s Anglican theological college, was closed during most of the First World War, from 1915 to 1920. The College warden Percy Temple Williams himself enlisted and went to the Front as a chaplain. Nine former St John’s College theological students died on active service during the war: E.C. Cook, P.G. Clark, J.D. Dinneen, N.F. Eagar, H.L. Morgan, J. Rose, E.O. Ruddock, N.R. Russell and E.H. Tayler. A roll of honour commemorating their sacrifice was unveiled in the college chapel on 14 October 1922. 

Reverend C.B.W. Seton, who preached the sermon during the unveiling service, had been awarded the Military Cross during the war. He was one of eight former St John’s men who were awarded the Military Cross during the war―the others who served as chaplains were C.J. H. Dobson, G.T. Robson and N.F.E. Robertshawe.

During much of the Second World War St John’s was again closed. St John’s supplied 22 Anglican chaplains during the war. One was killed: A.C.K. (Keith) Harper, who died at Cassino in 1944 (the only New Zealand chaplain killed during the Second World War). The chapel’s sanctuary lamp acknowledges his sacrifice, along with that of four other former students of the college, S.R.W. Bomford, T.A. Crossman, H.H. Hamiora and W.G. Parker.

Sources: ‘St John’s College: War Memorial Proposed’, NZ Herald, 18/10/1921, p. 9; ‘Memorial Unveiled at St John’s College’, Auckland Star, 18/10/1922, p. 8; Allan R. Davidson, Selwyn’s Legacy, Auckland, 1993, pp. 153-4, 180-2.

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