Pitt St Methodist Church memorials, Auckland

Interior View Roll of Honour Memorial Plaque Memorial Plaque Roll of Honour Roll of Honour Memorial Window Memorial Window

A total of 80 men from the congregation of Pitt Street Methodist Church, Auckland, saw active service during the First World War. Eighteen were killed. On 7 September 1919, Reverend John Alfred Luxford and George Winstone unveiled a roll of honour in the church – a large tripartite wooden tablet surmounted by a carving of a flag-draped cannon and stacked rifles. The roll of honour listed ranks as well as names. Almost half of the men listed were officers or NCOs.

On Anzac Day 1921, a memorial stained glass window was unveiled on the northern side of the nave. This was accompanied by a brass tablet listing the names and ranks of the 18 men who had given their lives. On 11 December the same year a brass plaque was erected in memory of the Reverend Luxford, who had served as a chaplain during the South African War, as the minister at Pitt Street from 1906 to 1909, and as a chaplain during the First World War. He reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, was awarded the CMG, and lost a leg after being wounded at Gallipoli.

Another stained-glass window was placed at the western end of the nave as a memorial for those who had died during the Second World War. This was dedicated to the two men from the congregation who were killed during the war, W.J. Dunlevey and D.L. Olds. David Olds, a Fleet Air Arm Lieutenant, was the son of the Reverend Olds, the minister at Pitt Street from 1935 to 1950. The names of the 49 men from the congregation who served overseas during the war are listed on brass plaques below the window, along with the names of 18 men and five women who served in New Zealand.

Sources: ‘Pitt Street Methodist Church’, Auckland Star, 5/9/1919, p. 10; ‘Local and General News’, NZ Herald, 8/9/1919, p. 6; ‘Church Services and Memorials’, Auckland Star, 25/4/1921, p. 7; ‘Memorial Tablet’, NZ Herald, 12/12/1921, p. 6; E.W. Hames, 100 Years in Pitt Street, Auckland, 1963, pp. 40-1, 47, 57.

 

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