War animals plaque added to Rangiora Cenotaph

A new plaque honouring the animals who have given their lives in human conflicts has been added to the Rangiora Cenotaph.

Bouquets at foot of Rangiora Centograph

Our staff enjoyed attending the unveiling of the War Animals Memorial Plaque in Rangiora on 19 November.

The granite plaque is a new addition to the Category 2 Rangiora War Memorial Cenotaph and features a war horse, camel, donkey, dog and pigeon. Its inscription reads, ‘Dedicated to all the animals that served in wars and conflicts. They died for our country. We honour and thank them’.

 Area manager Fiona Wykes noted that the ceremony was well attended. “It was a fitting tribute to all the animals that have been involved in conflict and it culminated in the last post being played and the release of pigeons. The plaque commemorates all animals involved in conflict but in the ceremony special mention was made of the 10, 000 horses that were sent to WWI – of whom only four returned to New Zealand”.

There are several other animal related memorials on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero, including Birch Hill Station Cemetery and Memorial to Bess.

- Rosemary Baird