St Mary's memorials, Hawera

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The memorial tablets at St Mary's Anglican Church, Hawera, include rolls of honour for the South African War and the First and Second World Wars.

The South African War roll of honour was unveiled on 14 June 1905. It was originally placed on an outer wall, but has since been moved to the nave. The white marble shield was presented to the church by past and present members of the Hawera Mounted Rifles in memory of their comrades who had died in South Africa: J.M. Patterson, J.H.I. Brock, C.H. Enderby, W.J. Goodland and L.E. Smith. (The church also displays the guidon, or regimental banner, of a successor company, the Queen Alexandra’s Rifles.

In 1916 St Mary’s parish dedicated its newly built Sunday School building as a peace memorial (see the separate entry for St Mary’s Memorial Hall).

Further First World War memorials followed. On 8 July 1920 a three light peace memorial stained glass window, the gift of Mrs F. Riddiford, was dedicated at the eastern end of church. This bears the legend: THIS WINDOW WAS GIVEN TO COMMEMORATE THE GREAT PEACE 1919.

On 8 September 1920 two marble memorial tablets were dedicated in memory of the young men of parochial district who had lost their lives. The tablets are both headed with the letters N.Z.E.F., one surmounted by a crossed flag and sword, the other by a crossed rifle and sword. Together, they list 72 names. The congregation’s Second World War roll of honour is a similarly-sized marble tablet which lists 25 names.

War memorial tablets from several churches in the area which have been closed have also been placed in St Mary’s. These include memorials from St James’ in Mokoia, St Aidan’s in Okaiawa; and St Paul’s in Normanby.

Materials from St James’ Church were used to extend the foyer at St Mary’s in 1993 (the new foyer was blessed on 15 August 1993). The Mokoia church’s First World War roll of honour, on display in the foyer, is a temple-shaped marble tablet inscribed with the names of five men from Mokoia and Whakamara (Thomas Eric Catchpole, Alfred Cornwall Catchpole, Arthur Vincent Shrimpton, Stanley Manaia Shrimpton and Charles Taylor.)

The First World War roll of honour from St Paul’s is a rectangular marble tablet which lists the names of 22 men.

St Aidan’s First World War roll of honour is a marble shield listing the names of eight men who gave their lives. There is also a framed, hand-lettered certificate listing 18 names, including three men who were killed, one who died of wounds, two who were invalided home, three who were wounded and one who was gassed. The Second World War roll of honour is a wooden tablet listing the names of 18 men who served, including one man who was killed in action (T.M. Smith).

There are also a number of memorial brasses dedicated to individuals. There are too many to describe here, apart perhaps from a unique plaque from St James’ which is inscribed: IN MEMORY OF / CAPT. ARTHUR J. WIGLEY, M.C. / CIVIL ENGINEER / GRANDSON OF / JAMES AND FRANCES LYSAGHT / SHOT BY ROBBERS WHILE ON DUTY IN PALESTINE / JULY 13 1923.

Sources: ‘Troopers’ Memorial Tablet: The Unveiling Ceremony’, Hawera & Normanby Star, 15/6/1905, p. 2; ‘St Mary’s Church: Patronal Festival and Unveiling of Memorial Tablets’, Hawera & Normanby Star, 9/9/1920, p. 7; J. Houston, The Parish of St Mary the Virgin, Hawera, [1932], pp. 20, 22, 32-4, 41-3.

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