Topic: Levin War Memorial
Located at the corner of Bath and Cambridge Streets, Levin.
In 1917 it was proposed at a Levin Borough Council meeting to have a memorial created to the dead following the immense loss of life in the NZ forces during WW1. This was deferred until the war was over.
A piece of rock was cut out of an outcrop of rock known as a monadnock on the hillside beside the Ohau River. The stone was found in Gladstone Road, around the bend into the Ohau Valley past the water treatment station and settling tanks.
The memorial however, was crude, being cracked and in 2 pieces and there was strong public protests. Eventually a committee was formed and fundraising began to erect a new memorial. Work on the project started on 25 January 1923.
The Soldiers’ memorial was unveiled on 13 March 1923. A parade started from Levin School, consisting of veterans (Boer War), returned Soldiers, Cadets, Territorials, School children from Levin, Ohau, Ihakara, Koputaroa and members of the public.
The proceedings opened with a speech by Mayor Matheson, followed by the hymn, O God Our Help In Ages Past. Scripture was read by Reverend Bawdon Harris, followed by a prayer by Reverend JC Davies, Anglican Church, followed by a recessional, Lest We Forget.
The memorial was unveiled by Major General FW Chaytor KCMG. A hymn, Lead Kindly Light and a Benediction by Captain Hoare of the Salvation Army followed. The singing of the National Anthem (God Save the King) by the people led by a combined choir and orchestra concluded the unveiling ceremony.
Contributed by Lorraine Wright
THE MEMORIAL STONE
TOMORROW'S UNVEILING CEREMONY
The unveiling of the Fallen Soldiers' Memorial in the Levin Public Gardens to-morrow br Major General Sir E. Chaytor will be, from its very nature, a solemn and impressive ceremony. The idea of the memorial grew out of a meeting of those who had lost relatives in the war, and who expressed a wish that some memorial be erected to commemorate their sacrifice. The district interested comprises the Ohau, Koputaroa and Ihakara districts, and the 64 names on the stone are those of men from these districts who died in action, or in hospital in England, as the result of wounds or sickness. Between 500 and 600 men left from the district and a parade of returned men will take place to do honour to their fallen comrades.
Major-General Chaytor will arrive by the Napier express to-morrow, and the unveiling ceremony commences at 2pm when a large gathering of relatives, representatives of the various public bodies, and the general public will assemble to pay tribute to those who gave practical demonstration of their patriotism by laying down their lives for their country.
The Chronicle Tuesday March 13th, 1923
FALLEN SOLDIERS MEMORIAL
To be unveiled on Wednesday
The programme has now been arranged for the unveiling of the Fallen soldiers’ Memorial in the Public Gardens on Wednesday afternoon by Sir Edward Chaytor.
The hour fixed is 2 o’clock and an invitation to be present is extended through our columns to the next of kin (for whom seats will be provided), Returned Soldiers and Veterans, Cadets and Territorials, school-children of the Levin (three) Ohau, Ihakara and Koputaroa Schools, members of the Native Race and the general public. The order of service is as follows.
1. Introduction, the Mayor of Levin
2. Hymn, ‘O God Our Help in Ages Past’
3. Scripture reading, Rev M Bawden Harris
4. Dedicatory Pray, Rev J C Davies
5. Recessional, ‘Lest We Forget
6. Unveiling the memorial and address by Major-General Sir E W C Chaytor, KCMG
7. Hymn, ‘Lead, Kindly Light.”
8. Benediction, Captain Hoare (Salvation Army).
The National Anthem
A combined choir and orchestra will lead the singing. A parade of returned soldiers and veterans is called for 1.30pm on Wednesday.
The Chronicle, Monday March 12, 1923