During World War I, New Zealand sent large numbers of young men overseas to fight for ‘King and Empire’. Many died at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. In the years following the end of the war almost every country district, town and city in New Zealand erected a memorial to those who did not return from fighting overseas.
The foundation stone of Akaroa’s war memorial, which also commemorated servicemen who came from other parts of Banks Peninsula, was laid on 31 March 1922. The site had formerly been occupied by the old Akaroa Borough School where many of those who fell overseas had been educated. The completed memorial was unveiled on 12 March 1924.
The striking Gothic pavilion was designed by H. St.A. Murray. The names of Peninsula men who had died in the South African and First World Wars were inscribed on panels. After World War II, the names of the Peninsula men (far fewer of them) who had died in that war were added to the memorial.
The memorial sits in the centre of an attractive garden, guarded by tall palms.