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
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


114 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.

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