Katikati e-memorial for soldiers who left from Katikati to serve in World War One

A project completed March 2001 with the support of the Katikati Returned Services Association.

Information kindly researched and provided by P.R.Lascelles NZEF Research Service with additional material provided by local families.

Introduction | e-memorial index | others who have served | lest we forget | links

above from left to right: detail from the Memorial Gates at the Uretara Domain, Katikati War Memorial Hall, the gravestone of N.Clark MM and the RSA section at the Katikati Cemetery on Springs Road.

Every town has them, memorials to those who died in action from the Boer War through to present times. Often in our busy lives we ignore these memorials, or we forget their significance.

This e-memorial is a tribute to the men who fought and to the people and families behind the names, and a reminder that we are all extensions of our collective history.

e-memorial index
The names of the sixty men who left from Katikati to serve in the First World War. Click on the individual names for more information.

others who have served
Some men with Katikati connections left from elsewhere to serve, this incomplete list details them.

lest we forget
A memorial in poetry and pictures to those who served.

Links to other sites of significant interest.

Foreword by Jock Phillips, Chief Historian, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, 2001.

About ten years ago I spent two years travelling around New Zealand looking at the nation's war memorials. Two things struck me about this experience - first the extraordinary ingenuity of New Zealanders in commemorating those who had served in war. Second the sheer cost of war and the incredible number of names of those who had served in the Great War -- and even more the numbers who had died.

In looking at this wonderful e-memorial I am again reminded of these truths. For Katikati has demonstrated yet again the ingenuity of New Zealanders in remembering those who served their country. This e-memorial is a great idea, since it takes you beyond the mere contemplation of images in stone and allows you to explore the human meaning of war. And as you contemplate these personal details, you will realise once again the cost of the Great War to New Zealand communities. Between 1914-1918 over 100,000 New Zealand men and a few women went overseas to fight the most horrific war in human history. This represented about 10% of the whole population of the country, and over 40% of the eligible males. So Katikati's contribution -- 60 out of a population of 400 -- was in fact proportionately larger than the country's as a whole. Of those 100,000 over 18,000 died, and over 50,000 were injured.

Many of these men had parents or grandaparents who had migrated from Britain and Ireland up to 40 years before. In Katikati's case many had come from Northern Ireland, around Belfast, and they were anxious to show their loyalty to the 'old country'. They went off with high expectations that war would be 'a great adventure'. What they discovered was the heat and the smell and the terror of Gallipoli or the mud and the lice and the cold of the Western Front. They soon realised that war is hell. Yet they continued to serve and to die with courage and commitment; and at home their families waited in fear and anxiety for the occasional letter from their 'boys' or, even worse, the telegram which brought sad news that their son would never return.

This e-memorial helps us to give a human meaning to the names and lists on our war memorials, and to give the people of Katikati an intimate relationship with those who lived in their community a century ago.

I congratulate all those involved in its preparation, and urge others in different communities around the nation to replicate the idea.

Jock Phillips
Chief Historian, Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Jock Phillips was appointed Chief Historian in 1989 after 16 years teaching American and New Zealand history at Victoria University of Wellington. While at Victoria, he also founded and was the first director of the Stout Research Centre for the Study of New Zealand History, Society and Culture. His best-known publication is A Man's Country?: The Image of the Pakeha Male—A History (1987). Among other books he has also written one on war memorials, and edited a book of diaries and letters by First World War New Zealand soldiers. One of his recent publications is Brief Encounter: American Forces and the New Zealand People (1992)

Spirit of ANZAC

They clad us in the colours of the forest,
and armed us with the weapons made for war.
Then taught to us the ancient trade of killing,
and lead us to the sound of battles roar.

So give us comfort as we lay down bleeding,
and pray upon our cold and stiffened dead.
But mark our place that we might be accounted,
this foreign soil becomes our graven bed.

Now children place upon this stone a garland,
and learn of us each Anzac Day at dawn.
We are New Zealand's dead from distant conflict,
our sacrifice remembered ever more.

Mike Subritzky 1986
Copyright Mike Subritzky - The Flak Jacket Collection


Above: A plaque commemorating the 75th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities in the First World War. The plaque sits below a young kauri tree in the Uretara Domain.