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Thames Central School memorial


Thames Central School First World War war memorial. This was formerly Waiokaraka School and is now closed.

A roll of honour was unveiled at Thames Central School on Anzac Day 1916. This listed the names of the nine old boys of the school who had been killed and the 77 others who had enlisted so far. Some years after the war, the school acquired another memorial when a marble tablet was set into the stone arch of the newly built gates to the school’s playground. This was unveiled on 25 April 1924. The tablet bore the inscription (in capitals): ‘Thames / Central School / memorial / - / “Lest we forget” / - / 1914 – 1918’.

Thames Central School closed in 1971 and much of the site was redeveloped as a retirement village. Although the school buildings were demolished, the gates remained intact, and now serve as the entrance to a public garden in front of the Thames Historical Museum. The whereabouts of the original roll of honour is unknown.

Sources: ‘Thames News’Auckland Star, 22/4/1916, p. 6; ‘Thames Central School: New Playground Opened’NZ Herald, 26/4/1924, p. 12; ‘Thames Central School’Auckland Star, 26/4/1924, p. 12; Althea Barker, Lost Landmarks of Thames, Thames, 2011, p. 8; From Gold Mine to Firing Line: ‘The Thames’ and the Great War, ed. Megan Hawkes, Thames, 2014, pp. 93-4.

Find out more about this and other Thames memorials on The Treasury website.


Main image: Jock Phillips and Chris Maclean, c. 1986

Meghan Hawkes (ed.), From Gold Mine to Firing Line: 'The Thames' and the Great War 1914-1918, Coromandel Heritage Trust, 2014

Text: Bruce Ringer, Auckland Libraries, 2015

How to cite this page

Thames Central School memorial, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated