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Royal New Zealand Navy memorial, Devonport


The Royal New Zealand Navy memorial at Devonport, Auckland.

Panel of names on memorial

The memorial lists the names of 352 officers and men of the Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve and Royal New Zealand Naval Vounteer Reserve who died during the Second World War and have no known grave. Most were lost or buried at sea; some died in Japanese captivity. Nearly half of those commemorated were serving on the British cruiser HMS Neptune, which sank after striking mines in the Mediterranean on 19 December 1941 - a tragedy that claimed more than 750 lives, including 150 New Zealanders.

The memorial includes the names of Able Seaman A.C.H Shaw from Rotorua and Ordinary Seaman I.W. Grant from Dunedin, who were the only New Zealanders killed during the Battle of the River Plate on 13 December 1939.

The memorial wall was unveiled by Prime Minister Walter Nash on 24 May 1956. It was originally constructed from white marble faced with etched bronze panels. Some years later, having become badly weathered, it was reconstructed in black granite. A rededication ceremony was held on 26 February 2002. The memorial wall stands outside the Naval Memorial Chapel of St Christopher’s.

A companion memorial wall to the left of the chapel entrance records the names of naval personnel lost in the First World War and in conflicts since 1945 who have no known grave. Inside the chapel are a large number of other naval memorial items.


Ministry for Culture and Heritage, and Royal New Zealand Navy
Additional text: Bruce Ringer, 2019

How to cite this page

Royal New Zealand Navy memorial, Devonport, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated