Skip to main content

Tuamarina South African War memorial


Plaque on memorial


The South African (Boer) War memorial at the Tuamarina (or Tua Marina) cemetery, showing details of inscription and plaque (added in 1999).

Further information

The unveiling of the memorial on 3 June 1904 . See an enlarged version of the unveiling image.

See also a report of the unveiling from the Evening Post which says that at this time representations were made to the government to change the name of the hill on which the memorial stands from Massacre Hill to Memorial Hill, 'the old term being considered historically false, and an undesired slur on the Maori race'.

The Sorrow and the pride (1990) says it was one of only four (of 43) New Zealand South African War memorials located in cemeteries.

Kevin Andrews remembers:

Now the cannon balls in the 1904 pic remained on site until the 1960s. I can remember as a youngster carrying them back up the hill after some kids had rolled them down, and putting them back in place. I believe that there is one in the possession of the Marlborough Historical Society. It was in the museum storeroom when I was fully involved with the Society. Someone donated it to us but I cannot remember who. As for the rest I guess they were flogged by riff-raff over the years, or maybe they are lying down the hill somewhere?

The small brass plaque on the Boer War memorial was unvieled by my father. He was a well known local historian. His link was that his Dad, Charles John, was A Boer War veteran. Grandad Andrews was in the Scottish Horse as a Trooper (25963) and apparently was shot through both shoulders during his time in Africa. Dad said his only comment was that those bloody Boers were good shots. The old fellow served in the First World War afterwards and was posted as missing after disappearing in a bomb explosion. However he surfaced from that encounter and eventually married and raised a family here in Marlbourough. He owned the Tua Marina Store where My father grew up.

First World War memorial

A Skoda mountain gun from the First World War used to commemorate all servicemen and women buried in the cemetery. Next to this (the cairn with a cross on it) is a New Zealand Wars memorial erected in 1869 to commemorate the 1843 Wairau incident.


Top image: Jock Phillips, circa 1986
Other images: Kevin Andrews, 2009 and Francis Vallance, 2011
Information courtesy Kevin Andrews, 2009

Find out more about the people listed on this memorial on the Auckland Museum's Cenotaph website and Sth African War embarkation database

How to cite this page

Tuamarina South African War memorial, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated