Waiuku school memorial trees

Memorial Memorial Memorial Memorial Memorial

On 11 October 1946 a row of 15 memorial totara trees was planted along the road frontage of the Waiuku District High School. Wooden crosses were placed at the foot of each tree. In 1949 these were replaced by bronze memorial plaques, one in memory of each the eleven past students of the school who had died on active service during the Second World War, one in honour of the fallen of each of the three armed services, and one as a tribute to members of the home forces. These were unveiled on 23 October 1949, during the school’s silver jubilee celebrations, along with a rimu tablet listing 103 past students who had served in the armed forces during the war.

In 1962 the former District High School buildings were taken over by Waiuku Primary School (the site is today known as View Road School).

The whereabouts of the rimu roll of honour is unknown; it may have been lost when the old school building caught fire in 1985. However, the totara trees still stand on either side of the entrance. Some years ago, because of the risk of vandalism, the plaques were moved to a new position behind the school flagpole. In 1995 they were moved again, to a low, curved, brick-built memorial wall erected in a garden on one side of the school quadrangle. Mosaics created by pupils of the school were set at the base of the wall.

The individual plaques are here transcribed in alphabetical order (each name is preceded by the words ‘In memory of’): Sgt. L.N. Atkinson N.Z. 4310154; P/O M.E. Barriball N.Z. 42358; Lieut. B.B.S. Catran 23716; F/Sgt. L.L.A. Craig N.Z. 411376; F/Sgt. H.E. Godfrey 405482; Sgt. W.H. Hood NZ 413417; Pte R.L.E. Jerram 21580; F/Sgt. J.M. Knight NZ4210031; Sgt. M.M.J. Kraljevich N.Z. 403458; Sgt. D.M.L. McKenzie N.Z. 414726; P/O. W.S. Masters N.Z. 421077. The remaining plaques commemorate the fallen of the RNZN, the fallen of the 2nd NZEF, the fallen of the RNZAF, and the members of the Home Forces.

Sources: 'Memorial Tree Planting Ceremony on Friday', Waiuku News, 8/10/1946, p. 9, col. 2; 'A Kindly Tribute to Fallen Past Pupils', Waiuku News, 18/10/1946, p. 2; ‘Roll of Honour: Unveiled at Waiuku D.H.S.’, Waiuku News, 28/10/1949, p. 6; D.H. Burt, Due Honour: 125 Years of Education in Waiuku, South Auckland, Waiuku, 1973, p. 11; Clyde and Jean Hamilton, Four Strong Wind: A History of Schooling at View Road, Waiuku, Waiuku, 1991, pp. 46-8; ‘Everything They Did They Did for Us’, Barnacle Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 4, May 1995, p. 20.

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