Turua Memorial Hall

World war 1 roll World war 2 roll Dedication plaque

Both First World War and Second World War rolls of honour are displayed in the Turua Memorial Hall. The First World War roll of honour lists 13 local men who were killed in action, two men who died of wounds, and 31 others who also served. The Second World War roll of honour has 87 names, including those of seven men who were killed.

The first hall on the site was opened on 29 September 1926. Although it was reportedly ‘dedicated to the spirit of service’, it was not in fact a war memorial hall, and was contemporarily referred to as the Turua Town Hall or Turua Public Hall. This was also the case of its successor building, which was opened in 1936 after the first hall had been destroyed by fire.

The Turua Second World War roll of honour was unveiled in the hall on Anzac Day 1954. At this stage the hall still had not acquired war memorial status, but after it had been refurbished and extended by the addition of supper rooms at the front, it was formally reopened as the Turua War Memorial Hall on 6 April 1955. It is unclear whether the First World War roll of honour was installed at this time or at a later date.

Near the hall, there is a memorial honouring George and Martha Bagnall, who arrived in New Zealand from Prince Edward Island in 1864, and later founded the township of Turua. This was unveiled outside the local store in September 1985, but was relocated to the small reserve beside the hall in December 1992. Several members of the Bagnall family feature on the First World War roll of honour inside the hall.

Sources: ‘Turua Town Hall: New Building Opened’, NZ Herald, 1/10/1926, p. 16; ‘New Public Hall: Turua Building Opened’, Auckland Star, 30/1/1936, p. 9; ‘Plaque Dedicated at Turua Anzac Service’, Thames Star, 26/4/1954, p. 4; Invitation to official opening of the Turua War Memorial Hall, 1954 (Hauraki District Council archives); ‘Turua People Erect Monument to Those Servicemen Who Fought Overseas in World War II’, Thames Star, 7/5/1955, p. 4; Hauraki Plains Story, ed. Rufus E. Tye, Paeroa, 1974, pp. 18, 159-61; Turua School and District Centenary, 1877-1977, Turua, 1977, p. 22; Dorothy C. Bagnall, The Bagnalls of Turua, Auckland, 1993, app. D.

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