Wairoa Soldiers' Memorial Cross

Memorial plaque John Kenneth Smyth memorial Ian Godfrey McKinnon memorial

Unlike most New Zealand small towns, Wairoa does not have a civic First World War memorial near the centre of town. Instead, there is a plain, white soldiers’ memorial cross in the local cemetery.

This bears a tablet inscribed: “Lest we forget / Erected by the / Returned / Ex-service men of / the Wairoa District / in memory of / their fallen / comrades / in the Great War / 1914-1918”.

Nearby are at least two impressive memorials erected by the families of soldiers who did not return, John Kenneth Smyth and Ian Godfrey McKinnon.

The roll of honour in the Wairoa War Memorial Hall lists a total of 71 local men who were killed in the First World War. 

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