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Ōamaru war memorial


Against the backdrop of a 13-metre tapering column of Sicilian marble set on a granite base, T.J. Clappteron's bronze soldier consoles a small child who symbolises the ideas of humanity for which the war was believed to have been fought. E. Miller was the memorial's designer.

North Otago people fought their own battles over this memorial. For months they argued whether it should be utilitarian or inspirational. Then they argued about where it should be placed. Even more vigorously, they argued about whether it should carry the names of the fallen.

Governor-General Jellicoe laid the foundation stone on 14 October 1924. On Anzac Day 1926, Lieutenant-Colonel James Hargest unveiled the memorial and placed in a locked receptacle a bronze casket containing the names of the district's soldiers who had served overseas.

The North Otago Roll of Honour, which lists more than a thousand names, was removed from the casket in 2003 and placed in the North Otago (now Waitaki) Museum. It has since been professionally conserved and the names transcribed.


Main image: Jock Phillips and Chris Maclean, c. 1986
Other images: Gavin McLean, 2008; Bruce Ringer, 2021
Text: Gavin McLean, 2008; Bruce Ringer, 2021

How to cite this page

Ōamaru war memorial, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated