St Mark's memorials, Waitotara

On 27 November 1916 Bishop Dr T.H. Sprott dedicated the new chancel of St Mark's Anglican Church, Waitotara, in honour of the New Zealand soldiers who had died at Gallipoli. The accompanying plaque was inscribed: The Chancel of this Church was erected / TO THE GLORY OF GOD / and in memory of / the brave men of New Zealand who fell on the / PENINSULA OF GALLIPOLI / WHERE THEY MADE THEIR FIRST LANDING / ON ST MARK'S DAY A.D.1915. This was one of the first church structures dedicated as a memorial in New Zealand during the First World War.

The congregational First World War roll of honour, which was installed in the church after the war, lists the names of 16 men who gave their lives and 36 men and one woman (Charlotte H. Mathews) who also served. The Second World War roll of honour, unveiled on 27 May 1956, lists the names of five men who gave their lives and 49 men and two women (Sister M. Lethbridge and Sister W. Train) who also served.

See: 'New Anglican Church, St Mark's Waitotara: Dedication Ceremony', Wanganui Chronicle, 30 November 1916, p. 6; Waitotara School Centennial, 1876-1976: School and District History, Wanganui, 1976, pp. 53, 55, 58; Laraine Sole, The Way We Were: The Settlement of Maxwell and Waitotara, 1850-1930, Waverley, 1990, pp. 345-6; M.P. Condon, Waverley-Waitotara Returned Services' Association, 1920-1995, Wanganui, 1996, pp. 74, 87.

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