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WAR MEMORIALS.

•*_ NEW ZEALAND PROPOSALS. CEMETERIES IN FRANCE. (Per Press Association i WELLINGTON, January 26. The Hod. Sir Heaton Rhodes has received from London an illustrated report by Mr S. Hurst Seager on the battle memorial cemeteries already erected m France and Belgium, together with a record of what is proposed to be done by England and the Dominions on the Western front. The report also includes sketch designs for the New Zealand memorials, and descriptions of the sites selected for them. The sites selected for the New Zealand memorials are Gravenstafel, about 3J kilos south-east of Passchendaele ; Messines, m the centre of the town ; High Wooclj near Fac'ory Corner, about one mile north of Lonqueval and two kilos south-east of Fleurs; and Le Quesnoy, m the centre of the town. The report states that it is only the Australian memorials that have been completed. A great deal of the work was done by their military forces, the monuments being erected before the armies had left the battle area The larger monuments apparently cost between .£4OOO and £5000. At St. Quentin the Australians have erected the base of their memorial. On this will be placed a group m bronze, representing an Australian stabbing a German eagle. The cost of the stone alone was £700, and., this represents only a small proportion of the cost In regard to the New Zealand sites, the Belgian Government had promised to present the site selected at Gravenstafel, and to consent to the New Zealand memorial being placed, m the town or Messines ; but at latest advices the Belgian Government was hesitating about presenting the sites. The trouble seems to be the difficulty the i Government has m negotiating with private concerns. Nothing can be doai© until a communication is received from the Belgian Government. In regard' to the proposal . to erect a monument m Messines, nothing can be done for some years, as the whole town has to be re-built. The sites for «fi» memorials at Gravenstafel and High Wood have not yet been acquired. The Le Quesnoy site is a matter of arrangement with the Deputy-Mayori Generally speaking it is important to keep wL* , °? d { OT Proses on the Western front within as reasonable a hmit as possiblo for these- reasons : (1) The expense cr upkeep; and (2) because there ai-9 140! proposed memorials and no iewer than 1500 cemetenes. hAV Ug ,? eSt^ that } he sites sh ould be made attractive as beauty spots, so that the inhabitants; might have enjoyment from them. The peasants and visitors generally are more likely to pES- T lth -i mdly fee] /^ a memorial erected with some thought of their local amenities. Mr Seager purposes planting about the monuments New Zealand shrub.s and trees, but experts there doubt if Nevr Zealand trees would be' a success HI that climate. IYi regard to' the proposed memorials at Messines and -Le Quesnoy, Mr Seager thinks it is a mistake to place them m the towns, ius idea being that memorials which call up deep emotions should be apart trom civic life. At Le Quesnoy the French people are erecting a large memorial costing 100,000 francs, and this will have inscribed on it reference to the New Zealanders Mr Seager su'^fsts that a large sculptured stone representing the scaling of the moat wall by the New Zealanders should be let into the ancient wall, the .moat itself at the ?pot being laid out as a sunk garden, separated from a level garden by an appropriate stone balustrading. This would be appreciated by the people of Le Quesnoy. M. Paul Mounerat, the l)eputy-Mayor, is extremely anxiousrto do honour to the New Zealanders. TKe two South African memorials will' cost about £15,000. The Canadians are erecting eigh£ memorials at a cost of iSS'XSS r dollars - England has voted ±.dUO,OOO for memorials m France and Belgium, a memorial arch at Ypres on the Menin Road, costing £150,00©' It is suggested that £150,000 should be left for general memorials throughout the country. The cost of the New Zealand memorials will probably be about £2000' or £3000 each. Mr Seager suggests that JNew Zealand should place a memorial tablet m the Amiens Cathedral. America, Canada, and Australia havse already their tablets there. He suggests the following inscription: — '"To the glory of God and m honour of those members of the New Zealand forces who, together with their comrades m arms, gallantly fought and died for the defence of this city. — March, 1918." i

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19210127.2.58

Bibliographic details

WAR MEMORIALS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XLI, Issue 9428, 27 January 1921

Word Count
748

WAR MEMORIALS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XLI, Issue 9428, 27 January 1921

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