Ministry of Defence
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Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

NEW ZEALAND MEMORIAL

Covers many conflicts
Compiled and Copyright © Martin Edwards 2013

The memorial is located on the north-east corner of Hyde Park, Westminster. Iy is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and was unveiled 11 November 2006 the dedications being performed by HM Queen Elizabeth II and Rt. Hon. Helen Clark. The site was free but the memorial cost £1 million and was funded by the New Zealand Government. The architects were John Hardwick-Smith and Jon Rennie, the sculptor was Paul Dibble and the building was shared between Bea Landscape Design Ltd and J Murphy & Sons. The memorial sculpture is made from bronze and Portland stone.

Photographs Copyright © Martin Edwards 2013

This description has been extracted from the National Inventory of War Memorials (UKNIWM):

The memorial is called Southern Stand and is made up of sixteen cross-shaped vertical bronze standards on stone bases. These are illuminated at night by uplights in the bases. The standards are arranged in a semi-grid formation and the standards, whilst upright, have a forward leaning angle. There are two overlapping formations. Ten standards form an angled grid (diamond shaped) with a lead standard. The remaining six are arranged behind the main group and are designed to form the shape of the Southern Cross constellation. Each standard weighs 700kg and bears individual text, patterns and small sculptures.

Standard one is the lead standard and carries the main dedication as well as a carved fern insignia badge with the initials NZ. The dedication is in both English and Maori.

Standard Two has the New Zealand flag upon it.

Standard Three represents Maori contribution to war. Upon the standard are manaia carvings in different tribal styles, a Maori pioneer flag, an extract from the Third article of the Treaty of Waitangi in English and Maori, a call to arms in English and Maori from the Maori newspaper Te Kopara 1914. There is then an extract from Captain Wainohu's address before the night attack on 6th August 1915. Finally there is a reference to Maori Battalion troops leaving from Palmerston North.

Standard Four has a war theme and has an extract from 'We are the hull of a great canoe - Matire Kereama' by Colin McCahon 1969, a quote from Freyberg when showing Churchill around the troops in Taranto, Italy, 1944, part of Laurence Binyon's Ode For the Fallen and a quoteabout poppies. There is a modelled fantail on ledge.

Standard Five has a trade theme and carries information on the Endeavour, the first Cabbage tree seed exported from New Zealand and the first shipment of frozen meat bound for UK.

Standard Six has a Navy and Air theme. The standard is decorated with modelled reliefs of planes and ships. It also bears the formal insignia of the Army, Navy, Airforce and Merchant Navy.

Standard Seven has a farming theme. The quote is from Katherine Mansfield and there is also an image of a farmer against a fence.

Standard Eight has a sport/tapa theme. The standard bears a rendered tapa cloth, two quotes on rugby and an All Black silver fern, modelled rugby ball and rowing oar.

Standard Nine has a sea theme and has quotes from John Mulgan, Allen Curnow and the Tiki Times. The standard is decorated with a modelled headland and pipi and toheroa shells placed in a spiral and lined up to spell Antipodes.

Standard Ten has a Bush theme and bears two modelled kereru, a Pember Reeves quote and a Robin Hyde quote.

The final eleven to sixteen standards make up the Southern Cross. Each is lit at the top. These standards feature welded patterns of koru, kowhaiwhai, lines and fish. These standards are of a more rugged quality than the other ten.

Inscription

STANDARD ONE: This memorial commemorates the enduring bonds between New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and our shared sacrifice during times of war. It is a symbol both of our common heritage, and of New Zealand's distinct national identity.

He whakamaharatanga tenei e whakanui ana i nga hononga kei waenganui i a Aotearoa me Piritana Nui, tapiri atu ki to raua tu tahi i nga wa o te pakanga. He tohu hoki tenei ki nga taonga tuku iho orite ki enei whenua, tae rawa ki te tuakiri ake o Aotearoa.

STANDARD THREE: TREATY OF WAITANGI 1840/ Article the Third/ In considertion thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

Ko te Tuatoru/ Hei wakaritenga mai hoki tenei mo te wakaaetanga ki te Kawanatanga o te Kuini-Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata maori katoa o Nu Tirani ka tukua ki a ratou nga tikanga katoa rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga tangata o Ingarani.

Farewell young men. Go and uphold the name of our warrior ancestors. "Fear God and honour the King".

Whatever you do remember you have the mana, the honour and the good name of the Maori people in your keeping this night...do your duty to the last, and whatever comes never turn your backs on the enemy.

Just before midday on 1 May 1940, the men of the battalion prepared to leave Palmerston North. Dressed in their greatcoats and lemon squeezer hats, with officers carrying side-arms and the remainder of the battalion carrying rifles, they looked impressive as they marched for the last time before the citizens of Palmerston North.

STANDARD FOUR: We are the hull of a great canoe - we will never be lost; we are the hull of a great canoe.

After a bowl of Toheroa soup, Mr Churchill was clearly much revived and one of his first questions, addressed to me, was 'Why did the soldiers give me a better welcome the second time they saw me?' I said 'Because they do not cheer very well to orders, sir, and the second time they cheered of their own accord'.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,/ Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow,/ They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,/ They fell with their faces to the foe./ They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:/ Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn/ At the going down of the sun and in the morning/ We will remember them.

Poppies with stems so slender they were hardly visible, swayed in a gentle breeze like crimson butterflies. Big guns away in the distance near Gaza kept up a constant rumble.

STANDARD FIVE: The Endeavour, commanded by Captain James Cook, departed England on 25 August 1768. The expedition had traveled south to observe the transit of Venus and to sail south to latitude 40 in search of the southern continent and then sail west to New Zealand. The first sighting of New Zealand was made by Nicholas Young on 6 October 1759. Cook's first landfall was at Poverty Bay, near present day Gisborne.

Actually the first cabbage tree seed exported from New Zealand was collected at Queen Charlotte Sound during Cook's third voyage, and the first live plants were probably from the north, where the missionaries were established. These trees were genetically adapted to warm conditions, and in Britain they all died. It was not until cabbage trees from the colder southern parts of the country were requested that they were able to flourish in Britain.

The first shipment of frozen meat to the United Kingdom, departed Port Chalmers on 15 February 1882 on SS Dunedin. The cargo of 5000 sheep and a small amount of butter arrived on 24 May 1882.

STANDARD SEVEN: The Manuka and the sheep country - very steep & bare, yet relieved here and there by the rivers & willows, and little bush ravines...in the evening walked in the bush - to a beautiful daisy pied creek - ferns, tuis, & we saw the sheep sheds.

STANDARD EIGHT: The man who introduced rugby into New Zealand - After attending Christ's College Finchely, North London for 2 years (1867 - 69) to complete his secondary education at an English Public School, C.J. Munro returned home to Nelson and persuaded his mates to take up rugby. From Nelson the game spread rapidly to other areas in the country, and within twenty years there were few districts without its rugby club.

The 1905 rugby team departed New Zealand as the COLONIALS and, after a successful British tour, returned known as the ALL BLACKS. During this 1905-06 tour the New Zealanders established themselves in the eyes of the rugby world and also added the words 'All Blacks' to the rugby vocabulary.

STANDARD NINE: When we went sailing, we used to head into the Hauraki Gulf from Auckland. This is a wide gulf, locked in by islands so that it has a sense of harbour and refuge and security

...not I, some child, born in a marvelous year, will learn the trick of standing upright here.

Where Pohutukawa flames against Hauraki skies.

STANDARD TEN: Eaters of honey, honey-sweet in song / The tui and the bellbird - he who rings / That brief, rich music...the woodpigeon's sudden whirr of wings...the silver fern-fronds climbing...

You were English and not English. It took time to realize that England was far away. And you were brought up on bluebells and primroses and daffodils and robins in the snow - even the Christmas cards were always of robins in the snow. One day, with a little shock of anger, you realized that there were no robins and no snow, and you felt cheated; nothing else was quite as pretty. The tall sorrel heads of the dock plants were raggedy under your hands, and the bush of daisies with brown centres stuck out from under the bedroom window, its roots somehow twisted into the asphalt...

References

According to Fran Dibble, wife and assistant of the sculptor, the standards are positioned in a semi-grid formation in order to resemble soldiers in procession, Pouwhenua markers around Maori ancestral sites or Celtic remains. The forward leaning angle is intended to be reminiscent of warriors during haka, the defensive bat in cricket and the barrel of a shouldered gun.

The memorial signifies New Zealand's national identity, relationship with Britain and the shared wars.

Last updated 9 April, 2013

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