NEW ZEALAND WAR MEMORIALS AND ROLLS OF HONOUR
Location: Dixon's Line, Bunnythorpe. Thanks to Grant Ancell.
FEILDING STAR, VOLUME XVI, ISSUE 4168, 13 DECEMBER 1920
BUNNYTHORPE. THE SOLDIERS' MEMORIAL. UNVEILING CEREMONY YESTERDAY
Bunnythorpe's tribute to the memory of the soldiers of the district who fell in the great war was unveiled yesterday afternoon. The ceremony was a solemn one, and was largely attended. A sunny afternoon, with a blue sky flecked with white cloud, made a bright prospect as a setting for the occasion. Mr Currie, Chairman of the Memorial Committee, presided, and the Feilding Salvation Army Band, under Bandmaster J. Johnson, led the singing and played several appropriate pieces. Mr Currie, in opening the service, said the memorial stood as their tribute to the local boys who had given their lives in order that we might live in freedom as citizens of the British Empire. It would remind those to come of what these boys had done. This memorial was the homage of the people's hearts more than of their lips. Remembering the tremendous sacrifice these boys had made for the safety of our country, we must try to make this a better country, by helping the sick and suffering, and by kindness-to all.
The Chairman then read a telegram from Mr E. L Smith, of Hamilton, father of one of the fallen boys, apologising for his absence. Prayer was offered by the Rev Mr Ashcroft, and the gathering sang Kipling's Recessional, led by the Rev. Mr Kempthorne.
The unveiling was performed by Lieut.Col. W. L. H. Burgess, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., of the New Zealand staff corps. Col. Burgess spoke plainly and directly, as a soldier. The occasion, he said, was one for an eloquent speaker, but the soldier was generally a poor speaker. To the parents and friends of the fallen comrades the ceremony was a sad one but behind their sadness they should feel proud of their boys. He had seen their work, but as it was not the soldier's object to talk, those people in New Zealand did not know how hardly won that victory was. In this country they had not known what war was - the misery and devastation of it and as their boys had helped to save them from its horrors, let them lift up their heads in pride. This monument would be a memorial not only of sorrow and loss, but a beacon of the devout sense of duty, loyalty, endurance and service of those who had made the supreme sacrifice, the people must keep green the memory of the great deeds done for them. I am a soldier, said Col. Burgess, with great impressiveness, and every soldier loves peace more than anything else on earth. War is a dreadful thing. When we do go to war, we try to get it over as quickly as possible. We should be thankful that the valour of these boys has kept war from this land.
The Colonel thanked the Committee for the privilege and honour of being present. Col. Burgess then released the Union Jack which draped the monument, thereby unveiling it. The distinguished officer then stepped to the front of the monument, and stood at the salute for a tense moment, as the names of the fallen soldiers were exposed to view.
Mr G. H. Espiner, headmaster of the Bunnythorpe School, in an address of great interest, called to mind that only a few years ago these boys whose names were on the monument had been going to school. They had passed through his hands, and he was able to deeply sympathise with the parents, especially the mothers. Giving tribute to the parents, Mr Espiner related an incident where he had been giving his true sympathy to a mother who had lost her son in East Africa, he said the mother had replied, "It is better than that he had never gone at all."
Mr Espiner thought they should erect beside these monuments all over the country another one to the mothers of New Zealand. Their feelings on this occasion should be of pride tinged with reverence and respect. As a school teacher, he had the habit of sizing up the pupils who passed through his hands, and tabulating them. He had gone over the lives of those boys whose names were on the stone, and he found there were none of them reckless fellows. Neither were there any bullies. None had given him any great trouble. But they were not namby-pambies. They were full of mischief, but with no vice in it. Why did they go to the war ? The Germans bred militarism by hymns of hate and lessons in greed. The British had no hymn of hate. But they taught their sons to respond to the call of duty and here Mr Espiner made a claim for the public schools of the country. The Briton did not talk of doing his duty. He liked to clothe his thoughts in other dress. He spoke of "playing the game," or "being a sport." But deep down in their beings it was this sense of duty which sent the boys to the war. The lesson for all, concluded Mr Espiner, was to play up, and play the game.
The Hon. D. H. Guthrie, Minister of Lands, next addressed the gathering. As he had charge of the Department, administering the Returned Soldiers' affairs, it was fitting said the Minister, that he should be there to take a part in the ceremony. This monument was appropriate. It stood in memory of the fallen. The war had brought sorrow and disaster to many homes in all parts of the Empire, but though the dark clouds were in the breasts of those who had suffered, the silver lining of pride should be there also. These boys had saved the Empire. So sure was the Kaiser of winning the war that he had fitted out a luxurious ship in which to sail to his overseas conquests, but the valour of our troops had brought his great schemes to their inevitable end, with the help of God. The Minister then referred to the magnificent work done by New Zealand. Although 112,000 men had left for the war, the country had been carried on, and the people had not forgotten their brave boys. For the various patriotic funds a total of £6,481,000 had been contributed during the war, this being at the rate of £5 11s 1d per head of the population. Of this liberality they could be proud. To every call they bad responded.
Following upon the Jutland Battle a call was made for the dependants of the sailors lost in that fight, and of the total sum raised in the Empire, New Zealand gave 80 per cent. Coming to the immediate subject, the Minister said Mr Espiner had spoken of the character of these men, and the mourning ones should be justly proud that their sons had responded to the call. Mr Guthrie was able to say that no district had made a better record than Bunnythorpe in this respect, every eligible man having gone. The district had raised £3000 for patriotic purposes, and this monument had cost £420. They had reason to be satisfied with these efforts. He was proud to be with them at the unveiling, which, commemorated what had been done by the people of the district and m memory of those who had responded to the call of duty, even when they had to make the supreme sacrifice.
Major W. H. McLean, M.C., felt grateful to the committee for giving him the opportunity of being present, to express the gratitude of the soldiers for this monument to their fallen comrades. He wanted to lay emphasis on the fact that those fellows had fought in a wonderfully good cause and died for that good cause. The British forces made up a wonderful army - they must not pay any attention to yarns about the decadence of the British - and not the least wonderful part of the army were the Overseas troops. Our own troops had pulled their weight. They made good wherever they went and those who were able to come home again, like the boys who would not come back, had left a wonderfully good name behind them. This memorial would be an everlasting reminder to the youngsters to do as their fathers and uncles did. On behalf of the soldiers of the district, I thank you for this memorial to our comrades, concluded Major McLean.
Mr J. A. Nash, M.P., also addressed the gathering, thanking the committee for the invitation. He dwelt upon the significance of the memorial, and hoped the League of Nations would avert wars in the future. The Rev. Mr Kempthorne pronounced the Bendiction, and Bugler Johnson sounded the Last Post.
The monument, which stands at the entrance to the recreation ground, has a concrete base, carrying a chain fence. On the base are three blocks of Coromandel granite in pile, and on the top the figure of a Digger, in Italian marble. The figure is 6 feet high, and the whole monument reaches to 18 feet. It is one of which the residents may be very proud. On the granite face is the following lettering: -
Location: Bunnythorpe School, Baring Street, Bunnythorpe.
Thanks to Janet Doyle
from Communities Remember World War One : Memorials of the Manawatu District / compiled by Peter Olsen and Janet Doyle. - Feilding : Janet Doyle, 2014. ISBN9780473283988
available from The Coach House Museum, Feilding.
The Roll of Honour has the name CLEVELY J W (BOER WAR) added.
FEILDING STAR, VOLUME XV, ISSUE 3840, 30 AUGUST 1919
BUNNYTHORPE. YESTERDAY'S CELEBRATION.
... The names inscribed on the Honours Board are those only of boys who have seen service overseas, in Africa, Gallipoli, Palestine, France, and Belgium. Every effort has been taken to make the list complete, but as the life of the school has extended over 36 years, it will be understood that there is a possibility of some having been overlooked, and the Committee will be only too pleased to remedy the omission. Of those who went, six obtained commissions, Captains S. Tremewan and W. H. Poole, Lieuts.R. Donald, S. Matheson, and R. H. Espiner; and the following gained the rank of Sergeant or Sergeant-Major: W. Andrew, C. Burgess, O. Jepson, R. Linton, A. Nissen, C. Proctor, J. Scheidt, and H. Weir. Military medals were gained by Sergts. Andrew, Sergeant Jepson, and Sergeant Proctor, and Private F. Ansin, while Lieut. Matheson was awarded the Military Cross. The following is a list of names of those on the Honours Board, a framed copy of which was presented to Mr Pirani: - One very satisfactory feature of the roll is that the boys not only made good abroad, but every one who has returned has entered his former groove of work and are, if anything, better men than when they went away.
|POOLE||W H J|
Return To HOME
FAMILIES I AM RESEARCHING | MISCELLANEOUS GENEALOGICAL STUFF | NEW ZEALAND — ON LINE GENEALOGICAL AND FAMILY HISTORY RESOURCES | NEW ZEALAND — YOUNG BOY IMMIGRANT SCHEME 1911 — 1914 | NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES | NEW ZEALAND MISCELLANEOUS GENEALOGICAL INDEXES | NEW ZEALAND LAND WARS — MISCELLANEOUS GENEALOGICAL INDEXES | NEW ZEALAND AND WORLD WAR ONE | NEW ZEALAND AND WORLD WAR TWO | NEW ZEALAND ROLLS OF HONOUR AND WAR MEMORIALS — BY LOCATION | NEW ZEALAND ROLLS OF HONOUR AND WAR MEMORIALS — BY CONFLICT | NEW ZEALAND ROLLS OF HONOUR — MILITARY NURSES | PAKEHA/MAORI TRANSLITERATIONS | PASSENGER LISTS TO NEW ZEALAND | SHAND — FAMILY HISTORY | SOUTH TARANAKI, NEW ZEALAND — GENEALOGICAL RESOURCES | SPONDON, DERBYSHIRE, ENGLAND — GENEALOGICAL RESOURCES | WANGANUI COLLEGIATE SCHOOL 1865 — 1947 | WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY, NEW ZEALAND — GENEALOGICAL RESOURCES