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Ruapuna Church war memorial


The Ruapuna Church war memorial is a stained glass window dedicated to the memory of just one soldier, Private Oliver Jesse Baxter, who was killed at Messines in 1917. The window was installed by his brothers, Earnest and Douglas.

Oliver had left a bequest towards the erection of a church at Ruapuna in memory of his mother. He specified that it should be built using local boulders. His bequest paid roughly half of the cost of the church, which was opened by the Bishop of Christchurch, Dr Campbell West-Watson, on 24 June 1926. The stained glass window was unveiled on 7 April 1929.

The top panels of the window contain a Christian cross, an anchor, and the symbols for Alpha and Omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet). The lower panels contain a representation of Jesus Christ and the personification of Lady Justice.

In 1935 a stone wall was built around the church  The section of the wall which was completed before Anzac Day incorporated the word 'Anzac' worked in coloured stones.

See: 'New church opening at Ruapuna', Ashburton Guardian, 26/6/1926, p. 6; 'Ruapuna Anglican church', Press, 29/6/1926, p. 14;   'Country centres: Ruapuna', Ashburton Guardian, 11/4/1929, p. 8;'Country centres ... Ruapuna', Ashburton Guardian, 26/11/1935, p. 10; Roger Samuel Tasker, All Saint's Church, Ruapuna, 1926-1976, 1976, [p. 6].


Images: Francis Vallance, 2011
Text: Bruce Ringer, 2023

How to cite this page

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