Please see the email string below and the Public Notice I have attached. Marty Fitchett suggested I get in contact with you as he thought you may be interested in this Public Notice which I placed in the Western Leader suburban newspaper yesterday, and the NZ Herald today. There is also going to be an article about the renovation project in the next edition of the RNZRSA "Review" in September.
As you can see, I am trying to get in contact with the families of 20 WWI and WWII war casualties who are buried in the Public areas of Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage looks after the graves of those serving members of the forces who died within New Zealand during the two World Wars, or very shortly afterwards. These “true” war graves are treated in the same way as our war graves overseas, the difference being that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains the graves of the war dead overseas on the NZ government’s behalf, and we maintain war graves within New Zealand on the Commission’s behalf, as their agent in this country.
There are 72 “true” war graves from World War I and World War II scattered through the Public Areas of Waikumete Cemetery, and many of them are showing their age. Relatives at the time would have chosen to bury them in denominational areas rather than in the big servicemen’s blocks. The passage of years has meant that the concrete kerbs on many of these graves are crumbling away, and the pebbled plots mean that weeds are continually pushing through. Because of this, however often we clean and repaint the headstones, the graves are always going to look untidy. What we would like to do is to remove all this old concrete kerbing, and the pebbles, and set up the headstones on stepped concrete bases.
Because this will result in quite major changes to the appearance of the graves, we are trying to contact relatives to inform them of the project. As a result of the Western Leader notice yesterday, I have already received two phone calls from descendents, which is very exciting.
I trust the above may be of some interest to you. I am not sure whether any of the 20 had links to the Mounted Rifles, (two of them, certainly, were in the Rifle Brigade) but here are their full CWGC entries:
COWLEY, Rifleman, RALPH TUGI, 24/97. N.Z. Training Unit. 27th July 1915. Born at Tonga Isle. Non Con. Block A, Row 3, Grave 36
SOLOMONA, Lance Corporal, PETER, 16/1196. N.Z. Maori (Pioneer) Battalion. 3rd April 1917. Son of Poki Poki, of Manihiki, Cook Islands. Served on the Western Front, 1916. Non. Con. Block A, Row 3, Grave 62.
MEADE, Gunner, CHARLES WILLIAM, 2/1487. N.Z. Field Artillery. 9th November 1918. Age 28. Husband of F. R. Mead, of Arch Hill, Auckland. Born in England. Served in Egypt, 1915-16, and on the Western Front, 1917-18. Ang. Block E, Row 8, Grave 77
MERCER, Gunner, PERCY ALBERT, 11099. N.Z. Training Unit. 4th November 1919. Age 27. Son of Cecil Walter and Ann Mercer (nee Forsyth). Born at Auckland. Served in France and Belgium, 1916-18. Ang. Block C, Row 3, Grave 56B
EDWARDS, Staff Serjeant, HERBERT CECIL ARTHUR, 487714. N.Z. Army Service Corps. 1st July 1947. Age 31. Son of Herbert Walter and Rachel Mary Edwards; husband of Stella Joyce Edwards, of Parnell, Auckland City. Wes. Block F, Row 3, Grave 9.
BAIN, Leading Stoker, GEORGE, 277245. H.M.S. "Torch". Royal Navy. 22nd August 1914. Son of Mr and Mrs George Bain, of 11, Craigbank Cottages, Liberton, Edinburgh, Scotland. Pbyn. Block E, Row 7, Grave 28.
BONELLA, Private, FREDERICK, 6/3994. Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F.. 11th June 1919. Age 42. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Bonella, of 83, Grafton Rd., Auckland. Served on the Western Front, 1916. Pbyn. Block A, Row 2, Grave 60
GROVES, Rifleman, RICHARD, 23/159. N.Z. Rifle Brigade. 10th September 1917. Age 43. Served in Egypt, 1915-16, and on the Western Front, 1916. R.C. Block A, Row 9, Grave 120
MINOGUE, Private, MICHAEL DILLON, 30613. N.Z. Training Unit. 10th November 1916. Age 35. Born in Australia. R.C. Block C, Row 8, Grave 118
RYAN, Private, EDWARD THOMAS, 23/902. Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F.. 10th December 1918. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ryan, of Whatatutu, Poverty Bay. Born at Gisborne. Served in Samoa, 1914; Egypt, 1915-16, and on the Western Front, 1916. R.C. Block C, Row 13, Grave 12
STOWELL, Private, HECTOR ARTHUR, 12/4099. Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F.. 23rd November 1918. Born at Wellington. Served on the Western Front, 1916. R.C. Block C, Row 14, Grave 29
BURKITT, Private, GEORGE PERCIVAL, 70233. N.Z. Machine Gun Corps. 4th November 1919. Age 39. Son of Elizabeth and the late Alfred Whaler Burkitt; husband of Maud Marion Burkitt, of 9, Kenneth Avenue, Morningside, Auckland. Born in England. Served on the Western Front, 1918-19. Ang. Block E, Row 10, Grave 48
MITCHELL, Driver, LESLIE, 228986. N.Z. Infantry. 27th November 1943. Age 43. Son of Edward James Mitchell and Emma Mitchell, of New Plymouth, Taranaki. Non Con Block C, Row 27, Grave 38.
RICKMAN, Sapper, JAMES GEORGE, 12/3139. N.Z. Engineers. 14th November 1918. Age 29. Husband of R. Rickman, of 46, Rolleston St., Newtown, Wellington. Born in London, England. Served in Egypt, 1915-16, and on the Western Front, 1916-17. Ang. Block E, Row 9, Grave 103
HARROP, Rifleman, CHARLES, 26/1198. N.Z. Rifle Brigade. 2nd August 1917. Son of Mrs. Jane Harrop, of "Totley," Lower Clifton Terrace, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Served in Egypt and on the Western Front, 1916. R.C. Block A, Row 5, Grave 113
SMITH, Serjeant, ALBERT HARRISON, 35522. Home Service Sect. N.Z. Military Forces. 21st November 1918. Son of Mrs. M. Smith, of Auckland. Born at Thames. Ang, Block E, Row 8, Grave 73
VERCOE, Private, NORMAN EDMOND, 21357. Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F.. 5th June 1919. Age 23. Son of Philip and Ann Vercoe. Born at Blenheim. Served on the Western Front. Ang. Block E, Row 10, Grave 124.
BARTON, Gunner, CHARLES FREDERICK, 11/1655. N.Z. Field Artillery. 28th August 1917. Age 23. Son of John and Elizabeth Barton (nee Hampton). Born at Auckland. Served on the Western Front. R.C. Block A, Row 5, Grave 27A and B
FITZPATRICK, Lance Corporal, FREDERICK DANIEL, 24/2192. Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F.. 30th October 1918. Son of Mr. and Mrs. D. Fitzpatrick, late of Auckland. Served on the Western Front, 1916-17. R.C. Block A, Row 3, Grave 99/101
SPEIR, Private, ALLAN JOHN, 33621. Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F.. 16th August 1920. Age 29. Son of Robert and Honara Speir (nee Fitzgerald). Born at Auckland. Served on the Western Front, 1917-18. R.C. Block A, Row 2, Grave 96/98
Margaret Marks | Senior Adviser, National Monuments and War Graves - Heritage Operations
Manatū Taonga - Ministry for Culture and Heritage
Radio New Zealand House, Level 5, 155 The Terrace
P O Box 5364, Wellington, New Zealand
Ph +64 4 496 6343 Fax +64 4 499 4490