Friday, November 7, 2008

Waikaraka Cemetery Veterans' Memorial 1915

Now and then, the Onehunga Fencible and Historical Society have guided walks through Waikaraka Cemetery in Onehunga. I can thoroughly recommend them to anyone with an interest in the social history behind the mute monuments.

At the eastern side of the cemetery, at what was once the edge of the area (behind was all reclaimed from the harbour during the 1920s-1930s) is an unusual memorial to war veterans -- those who, as at 1915, had served in the British Empire's 19th century wars and had died at the Auckland Veterans' Home.

There's a plaque for each man so remembered -- and the design, including the sentry statues at either end, caught my eye.

Behind, in the reclaimed section, are the veterans graves of those from 20th century wars.

Update 13 November 2012: Just spotted an advertisement for stonemasons for the memorial, placed by architects Wade & Wade, Auckland Star 8 November 1913, p. 12.


  1. Nice pics. I was looking for some kind of history of the Waikaraka cemetry and came across your blog. I visited the cemetry recently and was trying to find out a bit more about it. I particularly noticed the difference between the grey and subdued old, european section and the bright and cheerful Pacific section.

  2. Hi there, thanks for your comment! Check out Janice Mogford's "Onehunga Heritage" for more on the story of the Waikaraka Cemetery. Auckland City Archives have masses of files on the cemetery from the Onehunga Borough Council records, and the Onehunga Fencible & Historical Society are a great source of information on the cemetery's history. Their contact details are listed on the NZ Federation of Historical Societies site (link to the left on this blog).

    Yes, there are definite contrasts between the older gravesites, and newer cemetery plots and Pacific Island burial section. When I was at the cemetery (the day I took the shot above) I watched and listened to a Pacific Island service taking place. A very special moment, that.