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Wairoa Soldiers' Memorial Cross


Unlike most New Zealand small towns, Wairoa does not have a civic First World War memorial near the centre of town. Instead, there is a plain, white soldiers’ memorial cross in the local cemetery.

This bears a tablet inscribed: “Lest we forget / Erected by the / Returned / Ex-service men of / the Wairoa District / in memory of / their fallen / comrades / in the Great War / 1914-1918”.

The cross was unveiled on Anzac Day 1928 ('Wairoa news', Poverty Bay Herald, 14/4/1928, p. 16). Nearby are at least two impressive memorials erected by the families of soldiers who did not return, John Kenneth Smyth and Ian Godfrey McKinnon.

The roll of honour in the Wairoa War Memorial Hall lists a total of 71 local men who were killed in the First World War. 


Bruce Ringer, Auckland Libraries, 2015

How to cite this page

Wairoa Soldiers' Memorial Cross, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated