55 High Street And Ivory Street, Rangiora
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Able to Visit
6th September 1984
Extent of List Entry
Registration includes the land described as Lot 1 DP 6146 (CT CB339/50), Canterbury Land District, and structure known as the War Memorial and surrounding garden thereon.
Lot 1 DP 6146 (CT CB339/50), Canterbury Land District
Rangiora’s War Memorial, in the style of a cenotaph, was erected in 1924 to memorialise the soldiers of the Rangiora district who died in World War One, and it was later altered after World War Two to be a memorial to that war as well. The memorial stands in a square garden on the corner of High Street and Ivory Street, a prominent site in the town and is a bold architectural statement flanked by two flagpoles. In keeping with all war memorials, it has regional significance as a memorial to the soldiers who served and died from that community.
The land for the memorial was donated in 1919 by Charles Leech, from a well-known local family. The cenotaph is similar to the cenotaph designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Whitehall in London, which was unveiled in 1920. This was much copied around the world, including in New Zealand. The base of the memorial is made of blue granite, and the cenotaph itself is constructed of Sydney sandstone. Carved from the sandstone, on the side of the memorial are the words ‘Their Name Liveth For Ever’, enclosed in a wreath, above a granite plaque to those who died in World War One, who ‘by their valour and self-sacrifice upheld the honour, peace and freedom of their country’. The names of the fallen are inscribed on two vertical strips of Black Aberdeen granite.
Unlike in many small towns, where the memorials were raised solely from donations and fundraising, in Rangiora the Borough and County Councils contributed significant funds for the memorial. Discussions of the memorial began in 1919 in the context of organising a peace march for Armistice Day of that year, and demonstrate the typical progression taken by many small towns, struggling to cope with the enormity of the war and its impact on their district. Interestingly, the language sometimes used for the memorial was as a ‘peace memorial’, rather than a war memorial. There is now a plaque in the John Knox Presbyterian Church built in 1922, also on High Street, which states it is a peace memorial. As in most towns, any suggestion of a memorial hall or similar ‘useful’ memorial was quickly shelved as the prevailing mood was strongly against such buildings.
The completion of the memorial in 1924 was one of many changes on Rangiora’s High Street in the period between the wars. A historian of Rangiora noted that once this period of ‘sweeping change to the style of architecture’ in the town had ended in around 1930, the town remained very much the same for the next 50 years.
After World War Two the town built a new community centre not far from the cenotaph, but a new plaque was also added to the memorial for that war, as well as two strips of black marble wrapped around the bottom of the memorial to carry the names the dead from that war. The memorial remains the focus of ANZAC Day memorial services in Rangiora.
4th February 2014
Report Written By
Elizabeth Cox and Robyn Burgess
D.N. Hawkins, Rangiora, Rangiora Borough Council, Rangiora, 1983
A fully referenced copy of this upgrade report is available upon request from the NZHPT Southern Region Office.
Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.