Missing names to be added to cenotaph

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 10/01/2014
temuka cenotaph
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ

LEST WE FORGET: Les Jones from Aorangi Harding Memorials prepares the cenotaph in the Temuka Domain to add the 40 missing names.

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More than three dozen of Temuka's World War I dead will finally have their name up on the town cenotaph.

It is hoped the 40 names will be engraved on to the cenotaph by the end of the week.

Temuka ward councillor Pat Mulvey said the project dated back to the publication of Paul McNicholl's history of Temuka in 2009.

"It featured a list of all the soldiers from Temuka who were killed in World War I," Mr Mulvey said. "It transpired there were several names missing from the cenotaph.

"That's a piece of Temuka's history that needed to be filled in, but it has only been the last year or so that we were able to progress with it."

The local community board provided about $2000 in funding towards the project, while Temuka RSA committee member Kaye Donaldson spent a year doing research.

"I have always been fascinated by the stories of people who went off to war ... I guess it's because my father and grandfather were military men," she said.

"I loved it. Everyone one of those killed in World War I had their own story, and they came from so many different backgrounds."

During the war, which ran from July 28, 1914, to November 11, 1918, it is estimated 16,697 New Zealanders were killed and 41,317 were wounded - amounting to a 58 per cent casualty rate.

The Temuka cenotaph already featured more than 200 names.

Mr Mulvey said it was vital the project was completed in time to mark the centennial of World War I.

"The numbers of soldiers New Zealand sent to the war were massive for such a small country, everyone would have been affected in some way," he said.

"It's good to fill in another piece of history. I'm sure the community will really appreciate this."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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