Stratford Hall of Remembrance

Stratford Hall of Remembrance

Stratford Hall of Remembrance Stratford Hall of Remembrance Stratford Hall of Remembrance Stratford Hall of Remembrance

The Stratford Hall of Remembrance is possibly unique amongst New Zealand war memorials. The hall itself is an arcade on the ground floor of the Stratford municipal building, erected in 1916 to house the Stratford Borough Council offices and a public reading room.

In 1917 it was decided that the arcade would be a suitable location for the Stratford district’s roll of honour. Glass-fronted oak cabinets were set up housing the framed photographs of 129 men from the area who had given their lives. The details given with each photograph included name, rank and date and place of death (“Riflmn. C.R. Watkins. Killed in action, France, Jan 2nd 1918”; “Colonel W.G. Malone. Killed in action, Gallipoli, Aug. 8th 1915”, etc.)

The memorial was unveiled by the Prince of Wales on 3 May 1920. A commemorative plaque was added in August 1920: “This roll of honour to the men of the Stratford District who made the Supreme Sacrifice in the Great War, 1914-1919, was graciously unveiled by H.R.H. Edward, Prince of Wales on his visit to Stratford, May 3rd, 1920.”

After the Second World War additional cabinets were set up to house another 55 photographs (unveiled on Anzac Day 1951). The full list of names can be found on Kete New Plymouth.

Sources: ‘An Enthusiastic Welcome: Large Crowds Everywhere’ (section: ‘With the Returned Soldiers’), Taranaki Daily News, 4/5/1920, p. 5; ‘Stratford’, Taranaki Daily News, 13/8/1920, p. 6; Stratford Jubilee 1928, New Plymouth, 1928, pp. 32, 43; Graham Hucker, ‘Defying Those Who Would Forget: A Hall of Remembrance and Its Narrative’, History Today, vol. 9 no. 2, May 2003, pp. 10-13; ‘Stratford Municipal Buildings and Hall of Remembrance – 1916’, Stratford Press, 6/5/2010.


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Peter Kivell

Posted: 17 Mar 2013

Ralph Dorchel Doughty was born in 1891, the eighth and youngest child of William and Susanna Doughty of Stratford, New Zealand. He spent his early years growing up in Stratford and went through the public education system. A few years later (when he was old enough), he went on to serve for 5 years in 'H' Battery for the New Zealand Field Artillery service.
Ralph served with the AIF, enlisting in the 1st Australian Artillery Division, on the 24th August 1914, NSW, with the Field Artillery Brigade 1, Battery 2, with allotted regimental number: 193 and the rank of bombardier (but he never forgot where he grew up, mentioning the family he left behind back in Stratford, NZ) through his nearly three years of service, when he completed five day-by-day diaries that can be read at the link: Lieutenant Ralph. D. Doughty MC, photograph in the Stratford Memorial Hall Roll of Honour, and his diaries can be read by clicking on the link below.