The Timaru Boys' High School Memorial Library was opened on Thursday 20 March 1924 by the Governor General, Lord Jellicoe. It is a single storey brick building designed by Percy Watts Rule and was built as a memorial to commemorate the 52 Old Boys who sacrificed their lives in World War One. The names of First World War battles are listed on each column. In 1955 the building was extended and a memorial window erected in memory of the 133 past pupils who died in World War Two.
Poverty Bay Herald, 14 July 1917, Page 5
It has been decided to erect a memorial hall at the Timaru Boys' High School in memory of those old boys of the school who have fallen at the war, and of those who may yet fall. The hall is estimated to cost £3000. Two hundred and forty old boys of the school have left for the war, and 30 have been killed.
The Timaru Boy's High School Library, North Street, Timaru has one large, 1750mm X 3570 mm stained glass memorial window, New Zealand designed and executed. The final "cartoon" was designed and painted by F.V. Ellis of Wellington and approved on the 17th Dec. 1954 by the Executive of the TBHS Old Boys Association as "The Memorial Window" to be manufactured under his supervision by Messrs J.W. Brock and Company of Dunedin, [??Execution Roy Miller / Milller Studios, Dunedin]. The Executive on the 29th July 1954 requested Mr Ellis to submit a design. "To consist of a centre panel symbolic of 'Sir Gawin' with two side pieces to include the New Zealand Coat of Arms and the School Coat of Arms, and to incorporate native flora." The extensions to the Memorial Library, and including the new stained glass window, were dedicated on Easter Sunday 1955 during the 75th Jubilee Celebrations. The window was donated by the Old Boys. The cartoon was acquired by Returned Servicemen on the Executive, framed and presented to the school on 28 March 1990 by B.J. Petrie.
The two outer panels display the arms of the Dominion of New Zealand on the left and the School on the right. The central figure depicts Sir Gawain seated on his war horse, Gringalet, and bearing his shield and lance. On the left is the archangel, Michael, angel of battles and, on the right is the Angel of Justice, blindfolded for impartiality and carrying the scales of justice. Looking on are four figures representing the Army, Air Force, Royal Navy and Merchant Navy. The rainbow above is an emblem of hope and, the skyline of Four Peaks and the outline of Mount Cook establish the location as South Canterbury.
D. Cray, M.M.
M. B. O'Connor
R. S. Priest
L.S. Serpell, M.C.
W.W. Simmers, M.M.
A. O. Baker
T.L. De Clifford
- P. Margest
- G.L. Bonham
A significant acknowledgement to old boy servicemen and their families.
June 2014. The Timaru Boys High School Memorial Library have
17,000 names in their database and they have 120,000 photos waiting to be
scanned. Volunteers are working on the project each week and the library is open
for personal research by arrangement. An open day held every year between
Christmas and New Year to accommodate visiting Old Boys and their families is
well patronised. Available for research are all copies of the Old Boys magazine
Timaruvian; school records; board, trustee and governors’ records; plans,
documents and deeds; employee contracts. The school opened to pupils in 1880 at
the Cain Street site and the boys’ section moved to North
Street in 1913, although the rectory boarding section opened there in 1908. The boarding establishment Thomas House followed in 1934. The library has school class photos, war memorabilia, Old Boys’ medals, a huge collection of war reference books bequeathed by an Old Boy and many other books, publications and historical pieces and the Jack Lovelock collection.
New Zealand Herald, 14 July 1915, Page 9 MAJOR R. R.
Major R. R. Bowie, Canterbury Mounted Rifles, who died in the hospital at Heliopolis, was a well-known and highly esteemed resident of Timaru, where he was well known in business circles, as manager of Bowie's grocery stores, of which he took charge when his father retired some years ago. He was educated at the Timaru Boys' High School, and on leaving school went to Dunedin to gain commercial experience. A keen volunteer, he joined the South Canterbury Mounted Rifles on their formation, and worked his way through the ranks until he attained the rank of major. When the war broke out he offered to serve his country, and though there were those who tried to dissuade him from going he said he considered it to be the duty of everyone who could go to do so. He had been " playing at soldiers" for many years, and now that a call to help had come he was not going to shirk it. He left with the third reinforcements. Major Bowie leaves a widow and six young children. On Saturday last his wife received a long letter from him, in which he wrote most cheerfully, and said that he was in the best of "health, having kept "fit" on the boat going over by taking a turn in the stokehold every day.
Norman Guthrie Chalmers
DUNSFORD died May 2nd 1915, Gallipoli. Age: 23
Rank: Serjeant Regiment/Service: Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F. Service No: 8/35
Son of Fannie Elizabeth Dunsford, of 60, Wai-iti Rd., Timaru, and the late William George Dunsford. Native of Invercargill. Before enlisting he was 2nd Lt., Senior Cadets, Timaru.
Grave/Memorial Reference: 75. Memorial: LONE PINE MEMORIAL. Has a headstone in the Dunsford family plot at the Timaru Cemetery.
Press, 11 July 1918, Page 7 THE REV. S. J. SERPELL
Auckland, July 10. The Rev. Samuel Joseph Serpell died at Morrinsville. The Rev. S. J. Serpell entered the Methodist ministry in Victoria in 1884, and came to New Zealand in 1891. He took up work in Auckland, and subsequently at Thames, New Plymouth, Timaru (from 1903 to 1908), Wellington, and Masterton. He was President of the Conference in 1914. His wife predeceased him about seven years ago, and his eldest son, Dr. Samuel Llewellyn Serpell, N.Z.M.C., surgeon, (M.C.) was killed in action in France last year. Shortland Cemetery. In his 60th year.
Captain Samuel Llewellyn Serpell, Medical Corps, attended to the wounded at the regimental aid post under heavy fire. Although twice wounded, he went on with his work until ordered to hospital by his commanding officer. DOD 15 December 1917. MC. London Gazette, 17 December 1917]
15 Dec. 1981: Timaru Boys High School's oldest building, Thomas House, is demolished. The boarding house had been built in 1908 and at its height in the mid-1960s had accommodated 218 pupils.
Timaru Boys' High School Memorial Library, 1917-2007 Tells the story of the original building and its later extension, built to honour the memory of the school's Old Boys' Association members who died in World War I and II. Publisher: Timaru High School Old Boys, 2007. Spiral bound. Author: Petrie, B. & Elston, J.
"Families back in Scotland seemed to sometimes mention other family members on headstones even if they aren't in that particular grave." Looks like it is done in New Zealand as well.
Timaru Herald, 7 May 1919, Page 6
Mr G. Annand, of Rose Street, Timaru, has received word from her son, Lieutenant B. C. Annand, who recently returned by the Ionic that he has had to proceed to Stratford Hospital to undergo medical treatment. Lieutenant Annand left New Zealand with the Tunnelling Company, 22nd Reinforcements, and after arriving in England was attached to the British Expeditionary Force. Just before the signing of the armistice he was granted a commission in the field. He is an old boy of the Timaru Boys' High School, and before enlisting was a civil engineer in the Taranaki district.