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Burwood’s war memorial to be rededicated on Saturday, 4 Sept

1 September 2004

The refurbished war memorial on the corner of New Brighton and Lake Terrace roads in the Christchurch suburb of Burwood will be unveiled and rededicated at a public ceremony from 10.15am on Saturday, 4 September.

The City Council’s Burwood-Pegasus Community Board has been working with interested local people and members of the Returned Services Association and the Burwood Memorial Committee to spruce up the granite column and its surrounding grounds.

Engraved on the memorial are the names of 19 soldiers from the Burwood area who were killed in World War One and another nine local men who died serving the country in World War Two. The names from the first war were either local boys or those related to local families. The memorial has been the location for an annual Anzac Day commemoration since it was built in 1921.

A local effort began almost as soon as World War One ended to have a permanent  remembrance of the sacrifice made by Burwood families. Money was raised and the Waimairi County Council gifted a piece of corner land beside the primary school. They raised a little over ₤200 and imported granite from England for the central column.

The monument was officially unveiled on Sunday, 4 September, 1921 by Colonel Young, the Army’s southern commanding officer. According to a report in The Press the following day, there was a large crowd and at least 10 speeches were made.

David Jones, the MP for Kaiapoi, is reported to have said that it was because human memory was very short that they needed something to remind them of the men who had given their lives for the Empire, and while they all could rejoice in victory, victory would not give us back the dead and it was for the stone unveiled that day to keep the names of the fallen ever fresh in our memory.

The restoration and landscaping project has cost about $17,000. In the last two years the Burwood-Pegasus Community Board has put $10,000 towards it and the two members of the Burwood Memorial Committee, now in their 80s, decided to contribute the committee’s remaining $500 towards heritage-style seats for the area.

● Saturday’s ceremony will run until about 11am.

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