Compiled and Presented by Sandie Gorst
The Great War of 1914-1918 was so terrible and inflicted such large numbers of casualties on all sides that when it was over it was believed by many to be “The War to end All Wars”. By the end of four years of fighting many thousands of families were affected by the tragedy of the wounding or loss of one or more of their own, and communities were depleted of many of their young men.
Preserving the memory of the people involved in the fighting, those people who were forever to be scarred by their involvement in the First World War, and the places ravaged by the war, was at the heart of a desire post war, to find a way to mark their participation in such a large-scale, world-changing event.
While preparing for our Mission Hall Centenary celebrations in September of 2015, Reverend Bryan Haggitt from our neighbouring St Barnabas Church, informed us of the existence of a marble memorial tablet which was in their possession but had never been erected within their complex.
With the passage of time it was unclear exactly when or how St Barnabas came to be the caretakers of this memorial, however they understood it had originated from our Mission Hall and generously offered its return. We graciously accepted and proudly displayed the tablet inside the Mission Hall during our Centenary celebrations in 2015 with the intention of further investigation.
Page 7 of The New Zealand Herald dated 1st August 1919 confirms the memorial was indeed unveiled at our Mission Hall and reads as follows:
TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN
GLENFIELD MEMORIAL UNVEILED
An impressive ceremony took place in the Glenfield Mission Hall when a marble tablet in memory of eleven former members of the Sunday School who had lost their lives during the war was unveiled by Mr George Wilson, formerly headmaster of the Glenfield School. The service was conducted by the Rev. P. Cooks, himself a returned soldier, and at the conclusion the “Last Post” was sounded.
Staff at the Glenfield Community Centre arranged for the re-siting of the marble Memorial Tablet on the outside west wall of the Glenfield Mission Hall and a celebration was planned to commemorate the lives of the eleven men who never returned home to their families.
On a wet and wild Saturday morning of 9th September 2017, members of the local community gathered for the dedication, blessing and unveiling of the Memorial Tablet followed by tributes to the eleven fallen men and a morning tea.
Lest we Forget.