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DEVONPORT'S WAR MEMORIAL.

A HISTORIC UNVEILING. BY THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL. HEROIC BRONZE STATUE. Devonporfs memorial to the fallen! soldier citizens of the borough was unveiled yesterday before a huge concourse of' people by liis Excellency the Governor-General, Lord Jellicoe. The Marino Square was densely packed, tlie; attendance being estimated at between J four and five thousand. ! The Governor-General and Lady \ Jellicoe arrived promptly, and were; escorted to the dais by the Mayor (Mr. T. Laniont). accompanied by the Mayoress and members of the War Memorial executive committee. The Devon port Senior Cadets, under Lieut. IT. McMurtrie, acted as a guard of honour, while drawn up before the. statue a large number of returned soldiers paraded. Officers and men. as one unit, under Captain E. Napier, representing all branches of military service, were inspected by his Excellency, wound stripe, decorated, and incapacitated men being singled out for j special notice. Among their number j was Lieut. G. S. Creighton, V.C. When j the returned soldiers were dismissed to their seats, their place before the statue was taken by a company of girl I guides, under Scoutmistress Greenwood, j A larn-e nu.nber of boy scouts end sea scouts" also paraded "within the enclosure, as well as parties from H.M.s. ■ Chatham and Philomel, local friendly, societies, Sunday school children, mem-, bers of the R.N.V.U. and veteran*. | Members of local bodies and next-of-Uin of the fallen were accommodated with seats. The Mayor (Mr. T. Lamont) presided. Among those on the platform were- Sir Maui Pomare. Hon. C. J. Pair. Col. H. R. Potter, of the Northern Command, Col. Duigan. D.5.0., Major Wallingford. Commodore Beale. of | H.M.s. Chatham. Mr. E. W • Inder | (president of the Auckland R.K.A.),| and Bishop Averill and clergy of all denominations. The service was devotional and military, the Devonport Boys Brass Band, under Conductor A. W. Tatton, supplying the music. An Impressive Service. After the singing of the "Old Hundredth" by all assembled. Bishop Averill offered up a solemn prayer of rememhrance. The Mayor then made an appropriate speech of welcome, after which a Scripture reading. "Compassed about with so great a cloud of wit- j nesses." was given. Addresses followed by the Cabinet Ministers and the Governor-General, and then Lord Jellicoe unveiled the memorial, the vast concourse standins bare-headed meanwhile. The "Last Post" was sounded by TrumpterG. Sinton. and then bearing floral tributes, and moved by deep feelings, the great crowd slowly filed past the heroic bronze figure, the base of which was soon covered with wreaths. The speeches of the day were marked by brevity and sincerity. Sir Maui Pomare delivered a poetic oration, which reviewed as a marvel of history the fusion of Maori and pakeha. '"This monument may crumble into dust'," he declared, "but the memory of their deeds will endure for ever. Ovr the graves of these fallen the Aegean wind whispers, and the showers of Flanders fall, bearing our sympathy and typifying our tears. Their deeds and their sacrifices ensure for us so abiding a unity that should even dread Armageddon be J fought, our house shall stand together, j and its pillars shall not fall." J The Hen. C. J. Parr offered the 1 sympathy of the Government on this great occasion. He reviewed tiie hotfooted patriotism which New Zealand flung into the conflict and eulogised that prowess which had made so great a mark on history. Mr. Parr, who visited Seapa Flow soon after Jutland, also paid honour to Lord Jellicoe as one of the greatest figures in modern history, j " Unity Alone Gave Victory." j Lord Jellicoe's speech >vas a moving j tribute to the Dominion's part in the Great War. "We are here." he said, •'to do honour to these illustrious dead of Devonport who responded so willingly j to the call of duty. Men and women. I pakeha and Maori, by land or sea or ! air. gave of their best and pave it willingly in those dark days when war threatened not only the stability of the Empire, but the very existence of civilisation." That response by the Dominion's youth had never been, he thought, properly appreciated. It had been left to Mr. H. H. Asquith to apportion the share each part of the Empire had taken in supplying men. Of the manhood of the United Kingdom and Ireland, 22 per cent had been recruited, of New Zealand 10 per cent, of Canada and Australia 13 per cent, and of the white population of South Africa 11 per cent. That was a record of which New Zealand, most distant from the heart of the Empire, might well be proud. From all sources there came appreciation of the quality of Xew Zealand soldiers. ••The enemy feared them, in quarters tliey were greatly beloved, and those upon whom they were billetted asked for them to come back again." Generals lan Hamilton and Birdwood and Admiral dc Robeek were outspoken in their praise of tlicir splendid courage and general behaviour. "I hope," sa".<l his Excellency, "that this memorial. which tells to nil so great a talc of heroism, self-sacrilice and loyalty, will forever be guarded as a sacred trust by the people of Devonport." In conclusion Lord Jellicoe said: <; I hope that future generations will realise that unity within the Empire alone gave victory during the war. If ever the Empire forsets that unity is strength, that day will see the fall of the Empire | that stands for all that is good, and , jnst and true. Of the fallen. I would ask you to remember that they died j that others might live. On this first i day of Passion Week it is well to re member that "greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.' " The proceedings concluded with the singing of the National Anthem, after which the Governor and Lady Jellicoe partook of tea in the Municipal Chambers as the guests of the memorial committee. The statue, which is of bronze, the ! sculptured work of Mr. Frank Lynch, j looks westwards over Devonport's marine square. The figure is a soldier in undress, with rifle slung, and bareheaded, leaving the trenches. It cost £100f>. and the base, of Coromandel granite, was erected for £500. mist of I which was privately subscribed by the exertions of the local memorial committee, of which Mr. R. Spinley was secretary. On a polished slab at the base appear the names of nearly 100 Devonpiirt men. whose eulogy is found ill the inscription. "Romembcring these [dead, let the living be humble."

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19240414.2.122

Bibliographic details

DEVONPORT'S WAR MEMORIAL., Auckland Star, Volume 55, Issue 89, 14 April 1924

Word Count
1,091

DEVONPORT'S WAR MEMORIAL. Auckland Star, Volume 55, Issue 89, 14 April 1924

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