South Canterbury, N.Z. War Memorials  

Sherwood Downs - Askwick Flat war memorial looking toward the Two Thumb Range.

Memorial services are not about glorifying war but commemorating courage and sacrifice so that we might live in peace and to remind us of its waste. We show our respect by still having a parade on Anzac Day, April 25th. The day will never come when New Zealand will forget them. Rouse Last Post Abide with Me

Servicemen  ||  Memories, Memorials & Medals  ||  The Marquette Angels  || Poppies 

Many communities in the South Canterbury area have war memorials standing at intersections or overlooking the countryside. Schools, business establishments and churches have honour boards e.g. St Mary's. The Memorial Library at Timaru Boy's High School was built to commemorate former pupils of the school who lost their lives in the wars of the 20th century. Let us not forgot those who served in the defensive wars fought overseas.  Anzac Day 2009 TH photos

Every district had its own set of rules.
Some names appear on more than one memorial in South Canterbury. e.g. Capt. L. O'Callaghan's name appears on six war memorials in South Canterbury. On the Waimataitai School, St Mary's Church, Timaru, Sherwood Downs, Sacred Heart and Timaru's South African War Memorials. He attended school at Waimataitai, farmed on Sherwood Downs, was a member of the Anglican Parish, and served in the South African War and WWI. His name also appears in the Selwyn District on the Lincoln Memorial Board in Mid Canterbury. Memorials were erected years after the war when the funds had been raised for it and peoples memories were fading. There was no hard and fast rule how to select names and every community had a different idea. The odd memorial has a spelling mistake in the inscription or serviceman's surname. Just because the parents later came and lived in the district does not give them the right to be memorialised on any of our monuments.
 The criteria for the South Canterbury Wall Memorial on Queen Street, Timaru was born in South Canterbury, educated here or working here when they joined the services. Also in the roll-over period for the First World War, which was seven years, a lot of men died due to war injuries and exposure to mustard gas. The NZ Memorials register.

Memorials Photo SAF WW1 WW1 returned WW2
Mackenzie District
Albury have   23   7
Te Ngawai District have   7   1
Cannington have   5   7
Cave have   9  returned 37 10  returned 52
Sherwood Downs - Ashwick Flat have   4 returned 29 returned 40
Fairlie have

Korea 1

67   27
Fairlie Primary School have   13    
St. Stephen's Parish not inside church     16   returned 56     
Twizel have        

Waimate District

Blue Cliffs have   3 3
Esk Valley have   12 1
Glenavy & Waitaki Bridge halls Honour Rolls have   7  returned 37  
Hakataramea have   8 2
Hook Memorial Hall unveiled 29 Aug. 1922 offsite   9 4
Lyalldale  have   5


Otaio have   5 1
St Andrews have   28 12
Southburn have   10 8
Springbrook have   


1 (spelling mistake)
Waimate have

 1    75 returned

142 91
Memorial Arch Waimate Gardens have  



St Augustine Parish have




South African War Memorial have




Waituna have   3 + returned 10


Waihao Downs St Michael's Parish                   need   N/A 6

Strathallan District

Bank Street Methodist Church have   16  
Chalmers Church have 34
Claremont have 7 N/A
Fairview  have No names
Gapes-Beautiful Valley have 7 1
Geraldine  and the library foyer includes Arundel have 72 + 96 39 + 3  (total 210)
Geraldine St. Mary's Church have   33 23
Gleniti have


9 29
Hazelburn have 10 4
Kingsdown have 8 1
Mesopotamia Station have  6 N/A
Milford  have 12 4
Orari have 8 8
Otipua have


11 N/A
Pareora West have 2 6
Peel Forest have 17 3
Pleasant Point have 18


Rangitata Soldiers Memorial Hall have   7 2
Rosewill have   4
St. Joseph Church, Temuka have 41 9
St. Peter's Parish, Temuka  have   28 14
South School have 26


Sutherlands have returned 14 returned 12
Taiko have 6


Temuka have plus 2014 photos


114 + 42 85
Arowhenua Pa have    16
Timaru Cenotaph & Wall have



Timaru's South African War Memorial have




Sacred Heart, Parish have 2 33 27
St Mary's Parish have 72 40
Main School Memorial  have

No names

70 ex pupils & teachers, returned 360   


Caroline Bay -VC recipients                                                        have
Timaru Boy's HS Memorial Library N. St. have  Window dedicated 10 April 1955
Waimataitai have 47  
Waitohi have 12 3
Washdyke have 7 3
Winchester have 6 5
Winchester School have 21  
Woodbury have 22 5

ANZAC Day April 25. Their names shall live for evermore.

Timaru Herald, 20 January 1919, Page 6 Editorial  War Memorials
The question of war memorials is one to which much thought is certain to be devoted in the next twelve months. Clubs or returned soldiers will be one kind of memorial, but they cannot be the chief or only kind, because whatever value they may have for those who will use them they may never be an inspiration to all members of the future generations, and that is the great service which, in addition to remembrance, a war memorial to be really adequate must fulfill. Statues may afford this inspiration, or they may fail to do so, according to the sculptor's art. Every country has its statues which, it would willingly destroy, but for fear of shaming further the noble dead who are ill honoured by them. "It needs heaven-sent moments for this skill." Our statues for New Zealand would have to be imported from abroad, and it is not improbable that the sculptors of the old world will have, so many commissions for the next few years that they will have no time to wait for heaven-sent moments while their products are turned out by the gross. The kind of material will be determined after a great deal of thought and interchange of opinions. It will be worth while to wait before a choice is made, if by waiting we can ensure that the idea will be adopted, and some hints may be gained from other proposals when come to be put forward/ Meanwhile one who has done not little to encourage the hive of art in the dominion, Mr S. Hurst Seager, has proposed a plan, at annual meeting of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, which has to our mind great attractions, if some features of it to be less practicable than others. Dr Douglas, of Oamaru, had made the suggestion, which has been locally approved, that our soldiers' services and sacrifices should be commemorated by memorial avenues of oaks along main roads. Nature, when it makes an oak tree, never bungles, as the human sculptor may easily do and an oak will live for five hundred years. A great oak is always an impressive object. Mr Hurst Seager combines this suggestion with others that have been made, and proposes that a special "Memorial Road," which he thinks should be of concrete, should be laid down by the State from Auckland to the Bluff. Where it went through less settled country memorial cairns which would catch the eye from a long way oft, should be erected; milestones, with memorial inscriptions, could be placed along its course; at the approach to towns and cities columns and arches, which would form their local memorials, could be constructed, and at intervals garden cities might be built, for the purpose of increasing productivity, and also as a repatriation scheme.
    Mr Seager suggests that practically all the governing bodies of the country - county councils, road boards, municipalities and the others, could co-operate with the State in this scheme. We are afraid that it would not be practicable to form a great new road down the whole length of New Zealand, where existing ones make no need for it for traffic, but if main features of Mr Seager's plan could be applied to the present trunk roads the result would be a scheme combining, in a rare degree, the advantage or national and local memorials, which is much to be desired. Arches and statues, all having the same great object of commemoration, would be far more impressive grouped along trunk roads than if each town built them where it chose, and within the limits of the general scheme there would be wide room for local ideas to operate. Trees could be planted by the school children; and the traveller would be grateful for their shade. We are not sure that, there is any better memorial than a tree. We can conceive some difficulties that would be encountered in an attempt to out this project but difficulties should not easily baulk the desire to provide a memorial to New Zealanders who fought in the great war for freedom which shall speak to future ages and shall be, as far as possible, worthy and complete. It seems to us that Mr Hurst Seager's scheme large and imaginative as any such scheme should be, contains ideas that are well worth considering while we wait for other suggestions of a war memorial.

New Zealand Herald, 6 October 1933, Page 9
Oct. 5 Mr. Samuel Hurst Seager, architect, who was well known in Now Zealand, died this morning at Turramurra, New South Wales, where he had been living for some time in failing health. He was 78 years of age. The late Mr. Samuel Hurst Seager was one of the most prominent architects New Zealand has had. He was born in London in 1854 and came to New Zealand at an early age. He was educated at Canterbury College and London University. He began practice in Christchurch in 1884 and designed many important buildings in that city. He lectured at the Canterbury College School of Art in architecture and was for nine years a member of the Canterbury College Board of Governors. For some years Mr. Seager was president of the New Zealand Institute of Architects. From 1920 to 1925 he was in Britain and designed and superintended the building of the battle memorials in France and Belgium and on Gallipoli. He was one of the pioneers of town-planning in New Zealand and was a member of the Town-planning Institute and represented the Dominion at conferences in Brisbane and New York. It was claimed for Mr. Seager that he was responsible for the introduction to New Zealand of the type of dwelling that has since developed into the bungalow. Homes of this kind were to be found in Canterbury years before they appeared elsewhere in New Zealand. Although he designed many bigger buildings it was in domestic architecture that Mr. Seager took the keenest interest. He specially investigated the lighting of art galleries, and he was the inventor of the top-side lighting which has been installed in many modern picture galleries in all parts of the world, including the Robert McDougall Gallery, Christchurch. Among Mr. Seager's publications were brochures on art gallery lighting and safety exits for theatres.

8 July2014 KF
Their name liveth for evermore.

Northern Advocate, 11 May 1925, Page 5 CHUNUK BAIR MEMORIAL.
The Ormonde left Toulon with 800 passengers for a Mediterranean cruise, arriving at Gallipoli on Tuesday, where most of the company will land to witness the unveiling of the New Zealand summit stone war memorial at Chunuk Bair, 856 feet high. General Sir Alexander Godley, whom the Turks are permitting to wear full, uniform, will unveil the monument. Sir James Allen [High Commissioner for NZ], Major General Russell and the Rev. Mullineaux will participate, the last named dedicating the memorial, which is in the form of a Greek cross, visible from the Narrows and the Aegan Sea. The tablet is of Nebresina marble and the south face is inscribed: "In honour of the soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 8th August 1915 From the uttermost ends of the earth" Mr Hurst Seager designed the memorial. [He was responsible for the design of memorials erected at Longueval, Messines, Gravenstafel and Le Quesnoy.]

As the number of old soldiers decreases each year, the crowds who gather to commemorate them grows.

For ex-service cemeteries and memorials and Commonwealth War Graves Commission contact: 
Ministry for Culture and Heritage, NZ
An Agency of the Commission, responsible for war graves in New Zealand.
Heritage Operations
Ministry for Culture and Heritage
PO Box 5364
New Zealand  
Tel: (04) 499 4229

New Zealand Defence Force
Personnel Archives
Private Bag 905
Upper Hutt
E-mail address:

Timaru CemeteryThe Sorrow and the Pride: New Zealand War Memorials / Chris Maclean and Jock Phillips; [Wellington N.Z.: Historical Branch ; GP Books, 1990. 177 p. : ill. (some col.) ISBN: 0477014755 (pbk.) 

McGibbon, Ian  New Zealand Battlefields and Memorials of the Western Front. 112pp 2001 b&w photos, maps  More New Zealanders died there in two and a half years fighting from 1916 to 1918 than in WW2. A guidebook which directions for those who wish to visit the graves of their forebears or to examine the places in which so much New Zealanders fought. Brief descriptions of the various battles in which the New Zealanders took part are provided to give the visitor a perspective on the numerous New Zealand battlefields, monuments and cemeteries. Review

NZ World War One Memorials
The National War Memorial
New Zealand Rolls of Honour

NZAMP  defaulted
The Maple Leaf Legacy Project

British War Memorial Project 
Address at Memorial Service for Unknown Warrior by Helen Clark

Passage of time clouds soldiers' Sacrifice

Written in 1941 by a Spitfire pilot.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings:
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept height with easy grace,
Where never lark or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee was 19 when he wrote those lines. He was still 19 when he died a few weeks later.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project