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Railways Department roll of honour board, Wellington


This roll of honour, in the office entrance to Wellington's railway station, lists 450 members of the New Zealand Railways Department who lost their lives during the First World War. (See Railways Department Roll of Honour for a transcript of the names with links to their records on the Cenotaph database.) As many as 5000 of the department's permanent staff enlisted during the war, out of a 1914 workforce of 14,000, and many casual workers also served.

The roll was unveiled by Prime Minister W.F. Massey in the Railways Department's head office in Featherston St on 30 April 1922. At this time it listed 446 names, including two out of alphabetical order at the end, presumably late additions. A further four names were added later, including those of three men who died after the war: W.A. Brogan, who went to Samoa in 1914, was gassed and wounded at Messines in 1917, and succumbed to his injuries in July 1919; W.J. Howie, who won the Military Medal, was wounded in action three times, and eventually died in January 1922; and J.R. Smith, who was wounded in October 1918 and died of heart failure the following July while returning to his home town by train.   

When Wellington's new railway station opened in 1937, the memorial was moved along the road to its present location. 

The department's war dead were also commemorated in a mobile memorial, the Passchendaele locomotive.

The second image is of a plaque commemorating Railways staff who died in the Second World War. 


Mike Mellor, 2011.

How to cite this page

Railways Department roll of honour board, Wellington, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated