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Public help sought to honour Porirua war veterans

Allan Dodson at Porirua Cemetery

War historian Allan Dodson at the grave at Porirua Cemetery of Corporal Willie Snelgrove, a veteran whose grave was, until recently, unmarked.

Porirua Cemetery will soon have a memorial identifying all the war veterans buried there, but the public’s input is wanted to ensure everyone is accounted for.

With the help of war historian Allan Dodson, the soldiers' names will be listed on pillars erected near the cemetery’s entrance off Kenepuru Dr.

Mr Dodson says there might be more than the known 118 known soldiers interred at the cemetery.

Porirua Cemetery dates back to the 1890s and there are nearly 4000 graves at the site.

"There are some fantastic stories of soldiers there, from the Boer War, World War One and World War Two, and we are quite confident we have all the names, but we want the community to confirm this for us," he says.

Veterans Affairs and the NZ Remembrance Army have been contacted to help, but Cemeteries Manager Daniel Chrisp says the public’s help is important.

"They might know of a relative buried at Porirua Cemetery and we would love for them to get in touch with us," he says.

Porirua Mayor Anita Baker says the city has beautiful cemeteries and urupa, and buried within them are people who make up a key part of our history and heritage.

"A memorial at the front of Porirua Cemetery, listing all the veterans buried there, is a wonderful idea," she says.

"I hope we hear from the public and we can add to this history we already know about."

It is hoped the memorial will be erected prior to Armistice Day in November.

Anyone with information about soldiers at Porirua Cemetery should check the Council’s cemetery search tool in the first instance at poriruacity.govt.nz. For further information about the project you can email Daniel.Chrisp@poriruacity.govt.nz

Cemeteries Week will also be held in October, offering guided walks of Porirua Cemetery and Pauatahanui Burial Ground.

See the file here: Porirua war veterans


28 Jul 2020