Symonds Street cemetery NZ Wars memorial

This small obelisk was erected in Symonds Street cemetery in 1912 in memory of troops who died during the New Zealand Wars.

The inscription reads:

Erected to the Memory of the 80 men of the Imperial and colonial forces buried here, who fought in the defence of New Zealand in the Maori Wars. This obelisk erected through the efforts of the Victoria League.

The Victoria League had been founded in London soon after the monarch’s death in 1901, and an Auckland branch was established in 1909. This soon established a Graves Committee, with Edith Statham as secretary. By late 1910 they had been informed of a plot that was said to contain the unmarked graves of 80 to 100 imperial and colonial troops who had died in hospital in Auckland during the New Zealand Wars.

Fundraising was undertaken and a government subsidy was promised. The simple granite obelisk on a sandstone base was erected in late 1912 at a cost of £54. It was sited on ‘a green bank, which is rather steeply sloped, and apparently not a very desirable site for a grave’. The League had found the names of some of the men in the graveyard register, but these are not recorded on the monument.


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