Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pukekohe War Memorial

I've seen a few war memorials in my time -- but this one at Pukekohe, outside the War Memorial Hall,is probably the most poignantly beautiful yet.

The model for the bas relief soldier figure was W J (Bill) Short, a local Pukekohe man who served as a private according to members of the Franklin Historical Society (there is a William Short who served during World War I as a Lance-Corporal who was a Pukekohe butcher, according to the Cenotaph database. Whether that is the same man, I don't yet know.)

From NZ History online:

On 6 November 1921 Prime Minister William Massey unveiled the Pukekohe First World War memorial. The war memorial gates were situated on a plot of land donated by Mr William Roulston on the eastern side of the railway line. They included a column inset with a bas relief sculpture of a soldier, for which a local returned soldier, W.J. (Bill) Short, had reputedly served as the model. In April 1980 the memorial column was relocated from Roulston Park to the Pukekohe War Memorial Town Hall to enable the town's commemorative ceremonies to be held on a single site. During the 1980 Anzac Day ceremony, Mr Short laid a wreath on behalf of the First World War veterans present.


  1. How fitting that he was still with us to lay the wreath for the WW1 boys at the new location.
    It's a very moving memorial.

  2. A lovely memorial haven't visited myself but will do. I have set myself the task of visiting 100 NZ WW1 memorials before August 2014 to commemorate the 100 yr anniversary of the start of WW1. Would love to know what you think. Your blog is great full of fascinating and informative material. I am a follower.

  3. Hi Helen,

    What a cool project! A truly wonderful idea -- I'll add your blog as a link (and separate post). Consider me a follower of yours from now on, as well.