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Memorial for heritage list

Heritage New Zealand has applied for recognition for Featherston’s War Memorial as a Category One listed building. PHOTO/MARCUS ANSELM

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Featherston’s position as a place of rich history is set to be further enhanced by a Heritage New Zealand listing for the town’s war memorial.

The agency wants to add the 92-year-old monument to its list of Category One historic places.

The memorial displays the names of 48 local soldiers who died in World War I. In 1950, the names of 29 World War II casualties were added.

Heritage New Zealand’s Joanna Barnes-Wylie compiled the report for the nomination.

She said Featherston was “uniquely placed” to tell the story of New Zealand’s World War I history.

“The memorial is a key element within a wider historical and commemorative landscape that reflects the considerable impact of the events of World War I on the small rural community of Featherston.”

The site, on the junction of Fitzherbert and Fox streets, was funded by the town’s Anzac Club. Sir James Allen, defence minister during World War I, unveiled it on Anzac Day 1927.

It is protected from the weather by a cupola [dome] supported by 12 columns. The major areas of conflict in the Great War are inscribed. The structure is clad in river stones. They are a symbol of the stone-picking duties carried out by recruits at the local military camps.

Featherston resident John Skipage remembers the camp. Skipage, 83, said he is the grandson of one of the councillors involved in the memorial’s design.

“It’s a good building,” he said. “I remember a lot of the names.”

Heritage NZ says Category One historic places are of “special or outstanding historical or cultural significance or value”.

Featherston’s other Category One places include the nearby Anzac and Kiwi halls, the military training camp, Tarureka woolshed, Longwood house and Rototawai homestead.

Wairarapa boasts 16 Category One buildings.

  • Email submissions can be sent to [email protected], or write to Karen Astwood, Area Manager Central, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, PO Box 2629, Wellington, 6140.

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