Topic: Tauranga War Memorial Gates (est. 1921)

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Tauranga's War Memorial Gates are located outside the Wharepai Domain at 91 Cameron Road, Tauranga. They are New Zealand’s first proposed memorial, with planning starting in 1915. Building was completed in 1921 and the gates are now one of 26 historic places in Tauranga registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

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The gates were designed and built by the following: 

  • Col. Gerard  Arnold  Ward  (designer)
  • Joseph Denham Brain (local builder/boat maker)
  • J. & G.A.Denniston (bricklayers)
  • A. Watson (plasterer)
  • McNab & Mason (memorial plaques)
  • Cooper & Duncan Ltd from Christchurch (iron work).

Tauranga War Memorial Gates (1920s)

Tauranga War Memorial Gates in the 1920s (Photo: Tauranga City Libraries).

From the Built Heritage website:  

"The  Tauranga  Domain  Board  met  on  4th September  1915  to  discuss the  erection  of  memorial  gates  to  the  Tauranga  Wharepai  Domain  during  the second  year  of  World  War  1.  The  gates  were  requested  by  Col.  G.  A.  Ward (chair) so that the “meeting ground for sports and social gatherings” [will ensure that the young] “should never forget the grand example set by those we propose to  commemorate.”  The  battle  of  the  Dardanelles  had  occurred  earlier  in  the year  [now  commemorated  as  Anzac  Day]  and  fourteen  men  from  the  district had been killed. Nothing came of the meeting, and by 1918, a further 74 men had been killed in other actions of the first World War.
In 1919, support was called for and a public meeting was held. At the meeting it was agreed to erect the memorial gates as a fitting memorial to the men of the district  who  had  died  during  the  war.  The  Mayor,  members  of  the  Domain Board,  the  Tauranga  School  committee  and  representatives  from  each  of  the religious  orders  formed  a  committee  to  carry  out  construction.  The  Domain Board  voted  a  £30  subsidy  towards  the  cost  of  marble  masons’  work  on  the gates.
The gates were officially dedicated on 11 December 1921. There were veterans present for the opening from the New Zealand and South African Wars, World War  1,  as  well  as  relatives  of  the  fallen,  current  soldiers,  territorials,  the  Fire Brigade,  scouts,  cadets  and  school  children.  A  parade  was  run  from  Arundel Street to the Domain, led by the Municipal Band. Rev. E.A. McCutcheon gave a prayer  of  dedication,  which  was  followed  by  an  address  by Col. Ward and Sir William Herries M.P.
Anzac Day services were held at the Memorial Gates until the late 1980s. The names from the gates were transcribed onto the cenotaph in Memorial Park, at the  corner  of  Eleventh  Avenue  and  Fraser  Street,  and  this  was  dedicated  in 1990". 


In Memory Of The Men Of The Empire, Specially Those Of This Town And Districts, Named Below,

Who Fell In The Great War Fighting For Their God, King and Country. 1914 - 1918.


110 men from Tauranga gave their lives during World War I, however only 90 names as listed below appear on the Memorial Gates:

World War I (1914-1918)

  1. Robert Sherer Baikie (1895-1918) France
  2. Raymond John Baker (1890-1915) Gallipoli
  3. Charles Ebenezer Bannatyne (1882-1917) Belgium
  4. Frederick B Beach (1889-1919) Trentham, NZ - Influenza Pandemic
  5. John Vernon Herbert Bellers (1886-1916) Belgium
  6. George Reeve Bettelheim (1889-1918) Tauranga, NZ - Tuberculosis
  7. John Cairncross (1877-1917) France
  8. Angus William Carnachan (1894-1918) Featherston, NZ - Influenza Pandemic
  9. Charles Alfred Walter Clarebrough (1879-1916) France
  10. Leslie Harvey Clark (1891-1915) Gallipol
  11. Thomas Clemson (1871-1916) France
  12. Clive Franklyn Collett (1886-1917) Scotland
  13. Kenneth Wrigley Commons (1894-1915) Gallipoli
  14. E Cooper (1917) France
  15. Eric Corbett (1886-1918) France
  16. George Wickham Crosley (1894-1915) Gallipoli
  17. Thomas Patrick Cullen (1885-1917) France
  18. Walter Joseph Cunningham (1882-1917) Belgium
  19. George Frederick Samuel Davis (1893-1918) Belgium
  20. Frederick Hugh Dodson (1891-1915) Gallipoli
  21. George Alexander Douglas (1886-1915) Gallipoli
  22. Thomas Lewis Douglas (1889-1915) Gallipoli
  23. John Ellison (1881-1918) France
  24. Cecil Sydney Fairs (1888-1915) Malta ex Gallipoli
  25. Alvar Francis Fenton (1895-1917) France
  26. William John Francis (1888-1916) France
  27. James Frew (1883-1917) France [served as 'James Henry Francis'] 
  28. Cecil George Guinness (1894-1917) Belgium
  29. Hugh McInnes Hardy (1888-1918) At Sea - Influenza Pandemic
  30. Alfred John Samuel Harris (1888-1917) France
  31. John Leslie Hartland (1890-1918) France
  32. Andrew Charles Haua (1890-1915) Gallipoli
  33. Sydney Carl Jordan (1895-1917) Belgium
  34. Samuel James Keam (1887-1917) France
  35. Alfred William Kent (1891-1915) Gallipoli
  36. John Andrew Bathurst Kerr (1879-1917) Gaza, Palestine
  37. Harry Wensley Kirk (1890-1918) England - Measles
  38. Hone Koti (1893-1919) Tauranga, NZ - Tuberculosis
  39. Charles Walter Allan Lilley (1896-1918) France
  40. Thomas Leslie Lochhead (1890-1918) France
  41. William Harcourt Lochhead (1895-1918) Palestine
  42. Tukapa Toi Makaraure (1896-1918) France - Pneumonia
  43. Herbert Pengelly Mansel (1895-1918) Palestine
  44. William Howard Swindley Masefield (1895-1915) London - Died of Wounds
  45. Ronald Tracey Matheson (1874-1915) South West Africa
  46. Sydney Carlton McCarthny (1894-1916) France
  47. Robert McConnell (1888-1917) France
  48. William McKinlay (1893-1918) Auckland, NZ - Influenza Pandemic
  49. William White McLaren (1892-1918) France
  50. Evan Oswald McRoberts (1883-1917) France
  51. Johnnie Moko Mokopapaki (1893-1921) NZ - as the result of War Service
  52. Samuel Pemberton (1893-1916) France
  53. Frank Pentelow (1880-1917) France
  54. Alexander Petherbridge (1891-1920) Auckland, NZ - Tuberculosis
  55. Henry Phillips (1883-1918) France
  56. Edward John Plummer (1885-1918) France
  57. William Leslie Poad (1897-1918) France
  58. Charlie Wood Rakauhemo (1893-1917) France
  59. Frederick Hill Ralph (1881-1917) London, England - Died of Wounds
  60. Arthur Alexander Ramsay (1898-1918) Featherston, NZ - Influenza Pandemic
  61. William Charles Leslie Reeve (1896-1917) France
  62. George Rangitikei Rewa (1892-1916) France
  63. Para Davy Rewi (1896-1918) France - Pneumonia
  64. Waru Davie Rewi (1894-1920) Tauranga, NZ - Influenza Pandemic
  65. Harry Dickson Rikihana (1894-1918) Tauranga, NZ - Tuberculosis, Influenza Pandemic
  66. Mark Wilmot Rowe (1893-1918) France
  67. John James Salt (1899-1918) France
  68. Claude Montefiore Samuel (1889-1918) Germany - POW
  69. Richard Wearne Sharplin (1894-1916) Featherston, NZ - Pneumonia following Measles
  70. Edgar Francis Sheppard (1893-1915) Gallipoli
  71. Te Mete Smith (1897-1918) England - Tuberculosis
  72. John Graham Snodgrass (1888-1917) Belgium
  73. William Nelson Spratley (1894-1918) France
  74. George Fisher Stephenson (1890-1917) Belgium
  75. Henry Stewart (1888-1918) France [known as Harry]
  76. Leslie Parmenter Stewart (1895-1917) France
  77. Warena Mokopapaki Tapsell (1899-1918) Narrow Neck Military Camp - Influenza Pandemic [W Tapihana]
  78. George Henry Webbe Tobin (1885-1916) France
  79. Michael Tobin (1880-1916) France - Bronchial Pneumonia
  80. Thomas Wahia (1894-1915) Gallipoli
  81. Moa Wahia (1890-1915) Gallipoli - At Sea
  82. Cecil Louis Walker (1887-1916) France
  83. Eric Trevor Logier Walker (1896-1918) France
  84. Robert Francis Willis Wall (1892-1918) France
  85. Sidney Lancelot Ward (1896-1918) France
  86. Albert Samuel Wasley (1888-1917) Belgium
  87. Reginald Alfred Watkins (1885-1916) France
  88. Tiaki Wepiha Jack Webster (1895-1917) France
  89. Guy Clark Wilson (1889-1918) France
  90. Roy Howard Wollams (1896-1918) France

In 2014 a specialist report undertaken by architects Salmond Reed found that repairs and conservation work were needed to correct a number of problems with the gates. Those repairs were started in October 2014. They were partly funded by a $30,000 grant from the Lotteries Commission, applied for through the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, which meant that the cost to Tauranga City Council was just under $50,000. New kerbing, footpaths new bitumen was also laid in the area. The repairs were completed in time for ANZAC Day commemorations on 25 April 2015.

Tauranga War Memorial Gates (12 March 2015)

Restoration work being carried out in March 2015 (Photo: Debbie McCauley). 


Built Heritage Report




A version of this article was archived in August 2016 at Perma CC

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Tauranga War Memorial Gates (est. 1921)

City:Tauranga, New Zealand

Latitude and Longitude coordinates: -37.68779749999999,176.16512950000003

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