Otakeho war memorial

The small southern Taranaki community of Otakeho did not build a First World War memorial: its fallen soldiers were included in the Waimate district memorial at Manaia instead. After the Second World War a war memorial scholarship was instituted for pupils of the local school. The scholarship was replaced in 1954 by the annual presentation of a 'memorial book' (generally a dictionary) to all Form II pupils from the school. However, some time afterwards, war memorial plaques listing the five local men who had died in each of the First and Second World Wars were also added to the Otakeho School Coronation Gates, originally built to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. These became known as the Memorial Gates.

Otakeho School closed down in 2003. In April 2018 the war memorial plaques were transferred from the former school gates to a new memorial constructed outside the local hall.

See: 'Otakeho', Hawera & Normanby Star, 19/5/1919, p. 4; Otakeaho School, 1884-1964: Jubilee celebrations, Otakeho, 1965, pp. 31, 35; Otakeho District and School Centennial Celebrations: 100 Years of Progress, Otakeho, 1984, pp. 23, 66; 'New memorial a new beginning for Otakeho', Opunake & Coastal News, 3/4/2018, p. 13.

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Elaine Allcock

Posted: 14 Apr 2010

My 2 sons and I are about to travel to India to find a little more about my fathers upbringing. On looking through documents I notice a photo of PTE N Snellex of Otakeho who died of war wounds in France 27/07/1917. My Dad spelt his name as they do in Poland (Snelleksz) but some of his relations anglisised it on arriving in NZ. Pte N Snellex is obviously part of the family so I am contacting you in the hope you may have some information you could share with me. I live in Sydney but my eldest son lives in Auckland so if you do have any information would you be kind enough to either send it to me or to [email protected] thanks...Elaine Allcock.