Urutī War Memorial Church and Gate

Church Interior Church Exterior Foundation Stone Roll of Honour

Urutī’s First World War fallen were first honoured on the memorial obelisk at nearby Urenui, unveiled on Anzac Day 1920 (this memorial also honoured the fallen of Pukearuhe, Onaero and Okoke).

The Anglican Bishop of Auckland, Dr Alfred Walter Averill, laid the foundation stone for a fallen soldiers’ memorial church at Urutī on 19 November 1924. The church, which later became known as All Saints Church, was dedicated on 4 March 1925.

In 1939 the Urutī community began raising funds to erect a centennial gateway as its contribution towards the New Zealand centennial. War intervened, and the gate was not erected on the chosen site in front of the church until 1949. By this time it had been designated a war memorial gate and incorporated tablets with rolls of honour for both world wars, listing 13 and four names respectively. The Urutī Centennial and War Memorial was dedicated on 29 May 1949.

Today the church is no longer regularly used as a place of worship and its original function as a war memorial has largely been forgotten. However, a brass tablet inside the church lists the same names as on the memorial gate.

Sources: ‘Heroes Recognised: Urenui’s War Memorial’, Taranaki Daily News, 27/4/1920, p. 5; ‘For Those Who Fell’, NZ Herald, 24/11/1924, p. 10; ‘The Bishop’s Taranaki Visit’, Church Gazette, vol. 55, no. 1, January 1925, p. 1; ‘All Saints, Uruti’, Church Gazette, vol. 55, no. 3, March 1925, p. 39; ‘All Saints, Uruti’, Church Gazette, vol. 55, no. 4, April 1925, p. 63; ‘Approved Centennial Memorials’, New Zealand Centennial News, no. 15, February 1941, p. 21; ‘Centennial and War Memorial at Uruti Unveiled’, Taranaki Daily News, 30/5/1949; Glenwyss Brooks, How Green Was Our Valley: Collected Memories of Uruti, New Plymouth, 1994, pp. 117-24, 151-3.

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2 comments have been posted about Urutī War Memorial Church and Gate

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Glenwyss Brooks

Posted: 19 Sep 2012

Correction- Jack Rea killed 7/7/1916.

Glenwyss Brooks

Posted: 14 Mar 2012

Uruti War Memorial Names;

WW1.
JACK REA,ran away from home, stowed away to England aged 16, joined Royal Fusiliers k.i.a. 7th July 1917 at the Somme.
FRANK GUNNUNG RICHARDSON M.M. k.i.a. Bapaaume France 31 August 1918.
JAMES HUNTER GANDY k.i.a. at the Somme 28th Sept. 1916 CHUDLEIGH INWOOD KIRTON killed in railway accident Bere Ferrers Devon 24th Sept 1917
THOMAS HERMAN WALSH died of wounds Bapaume France 26th Aug 1918.
WILLIAM JAMES BRACKEN k.i.a. 13th Sept 1918 Havrincourt France
WILLIAM JAMES died 9th Feb 1917 Armetiers France
EDWIN BALDWIN k.i.a. Ayun Kara, Palestine 14th Nov 1917
Walter William Smith k.i.a. Messines Belgium 21 Feb 1917
ROBERT SMITH died of wounds the Somme 17th Sept 1916
DUNCAN BURRELL STEVENS k.i.a. Palestine 1st April 1918
JOHANNES HANSEN k.i.a. 27th Oct 1915 Gallipoli

WW2
THOMAS BEEBY MURRAY-NZRAF missing in the Pacific 17th Jan 1944
BRUCE FIFEILD REA k.i.a. 28th June 1942 El Alamein
RAYMOND COLIN POLGLASE died of wounds 25th Oct 1942 El Alamein
EDWARD WRIGHT SAYWELL flight sergeant Halfax bomber shot down over Germany 14th July 1943