Waitara war memorials

Waitara war memorials Waitara war memorials Waitara war memorials Waitara war memorials Waitara war memorials Waitara war memorials Waitara war memorials Waitara war memorials

Waitara’s First World War memorial cenotaph and its Second World War memorial community centre stand opposite one another in Memorial Place.

The First World War memorial was unveiled by Lieutenant-Colonel C.H. Weston on Anzac Day 1923. The high granite cross - originally painted white - was mounted on a stepped and balustraded stone-and-concrete platform. One face of the cross’s base was inscribed, ERECTED / BY THE CITIZENS / TO THE MEMORY OF THE MEN / OF WAITARA / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN / THE GREAT WAR, / 1914-1918. The names of 34 men were listed on two of the other faces with the phrase ‘Think and Thank’.

In 1949 a further 33 Second World War names were added. Some years later a plaque commemorating service in later wars was also put in place and (very recently) two plaques listing the names of men from North Taranaki who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars.

The nearby war memorial community centre was opened by the Hon. W. Anderton, Minister of Internal Affairs, in September 1959. The memorial feature in the lobby was designed by Max Smart, an art master at Waitara High School. This features a cross, the inscription WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM, and four marble tablets listing the names of men who gave their lives in both world wars.

The Brixton-Huirangi Second World War roll of honour also hangs in the lobby. This wooden tablet lists 63 names of men from those localities who served in the war, including seven men who died.

See: ‘Waitara Memorial Unveiled’, Hawera & Normanby Star, 26/4/1922, p. 4; ‘Unveiling of Cenotaph at Waitara’, Taranaki Daily News, 26/4/1949, p. 6; Ada C. Alexander, Waitara: A Record Past and Present, Waitara, 1979, pp. 18-19; ‘Waitara War Memorial’, Kete New Plymouth.

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