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WITCH HILL., Press, Volume LX, Issue 18196, 6 October 1924
ITS BEAUTIFUL MEMORIAL. (SPECIALIST WRITTEN SOB "THE PBESS. ) At the top of Witch Hill rock, which is at the summit of the hills between St. Martin's on the Christcburch side and Bapaki on the Lyttelton aide u » stone -memorial seat erected by the parents of ft yonnß soldier who foil in the Great War. The story is that .-it i whs a favourite walk of the young man, and of some of his friends from his home | in St. Mhrtin's to the top of "Witch Hill, j and it is on the summit-- of the rock that I his father and mother have had erected | a, simple but beautiful memorial. ■ . j Witch Hill may be reached from the j Kiwi Keet House, east along the Summit Track, from either Heathcot© or Lyttelton br way. of the Bridle Path, or from the St. Martin's tram tenmnu*, up the old 'White's road. Clear-cut against the sky-line the memorial stands at the summit of the rocky pile known as Witch Hill. We i gaze up at it from the Sftmmit track. , A notice board bears the words, "To I Witch.Hill Memorial." and we branch I off on to a rough pathway. After five j minutes' climbing the track' becomes much steeper, and finally loses itnelf among the boulders at th© foot of. the rock itself, which rears' precipitous sides in front of us. Stiff climbing . now, much of it hand-overrhand, as we fi'id a way round on the western side, and llien quite suddeply we are on the sumniit, and sink gratefully-on to the broad stone seat of the memorial. . ; The memorial, we find,' is a seat built from rock quarried from the eastern side of Witch Hill, the blocks cut and set in cement. The seat, facing northwest, is about ten feet long, and is surrounded on three sides by .a castellated wall five or six feet in height., Set in the back of the seat are two bronze tablets, splendid examples of the moulder's art, bearing inscriptions in relief. The larger tablet reads: — On the Hills he Loved. ■ This seat is erected by his Parents In Memory of Frederick Andrew. Anderson, "Who fell at. Messines, - 7th June, 1917, And in Memory of his Friend, Anthony Frederick Wilding, Who fell near Lavenlie, 9th Mas", 1915. Also in Memory of those other Gallant • Lads whose homes were near' the fcot ot this hill at St. Martin's. Noel Fletcher Burnett, Fell at Gallipoli, 13th- Dec., 1915. Henry Allen Bowron, Fell at Magdahabar, Syria, 24th De«., 1916. Edward William Batchelor, Fell at Messines 7th June, 1917. John Leonard Barker, Fell in France, March 28th, 1918. George Thomas Barker. Fell in France, April sth, 1918. Above the larger tablet is a smaller one bearing the exquisite lines of Rupert Brooke, the poet-soldier, to The Dead : • Blow out, you bugles, .oyer' the rich Dead! There's none of these 3» lonely and'poor of old, But, dying-, h*a made us rarer gifts thSun gold. • These laid the world away; poured out the red , Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to bo . . .. . Of. Work and joy, and that Unhoped fierene. That men call age; and those : wh6* wouM . here teen, Their' sons, they gave, their immortality. Blow, bugles, blow!. They .brotight us, for o-ur dearth,. Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, end Pain., . ■ • • _ Honour has come back, as a king, to earth, And paid his, subjects' with "a' royal 'wage: And Nobleness walks in our ways again; And we have come into our heritage. ---Rupert Brooke. Died at Lemnos, Gallipoli Expedition. But that, is not all. At the back of the wall, -facing Lyttelton Harbour and the little Maori village of Eapaki, is another bronze plate, with an inscription in Maori: — He whakamaharatanga tenei' mo nga tangata toa, o te Iwi Maori o Eapaki I tuku atu. fiei i a ratou kite' mate mo . te kingi me' te wi-'I te whawhai nui ("In memory of the Bapaki Boys who gave their Lives in the Great War, for King and Empire.") "Waiters Manihera, Fell at Gallipoli, 6th Aug., 1915. Tamateraki Tene, Died at. Auckland, 27th April, 1916. In silence we gaze at the, magnificent panorama spread before us. At our feet lies the pleasant St. Martin's valley, on the eastern side of .which is the old White's road, sometimes called the Eapaki road, although it leads to the top of the hill only; there is no road, not even a paper one, down into Bapaki To the right is the smiling township of Heathcote, with its. large expanse of flower and market gardens and orchards. As we watch, a toy-like train races madly across the landscape. A puff of fleecy-looking steam' shoots up from the tiny engine, and fully half a minute later there is borne to our ears, m the still air, the faint sound of the whistle, and we realise that it is a real train. Further across on the right the wafers of the estuary gleam brightly, while beyond that again, across the sahd-spit the long Pacific rollers can be -'een breaking on the beach at New Brighton. Mt. Grey stands out sharply before us, in the clear air. it does not .look i.nore - than eight or nine miles away, while to the seaward, in the distance can be seen the dim outline of the snow-capped Kaikouras. We turn to the plains once more. A gleam of silver in the middle distance catches the eye. It is the Waimakariri, sparkling in the sunlight, and we trace it, like a silver ribbon, richt down to its mouth at Kairaki. ■ Away across the plains we get a splendid view of the majestic Alps, snow-covered and with the seemingly endless chain of peaks lost in the purple haze of distance. We turn and look down on the Lyttelton side. Right at our is -the little Maori village of Eapaki. Here over 600 years ago (when the flrst Edward was on the throne of England and the battle of Bannockburn had vet to be fought), the intrepid navigator Tamatea beached hia canoe and named the peak on whieh we stand after himself, Tepoho-o-Tamatea (Tama tea'a Breast), the oldest place-name iu Canterbury. Later Maoris named the rock itself Ahi-a Tamatea (the Fire of Tamatea), and these names survived until the H.M.S. Acheron Burvey expedition (1849-51) gave the peak its present name, Witch Hill. The sea in the harbour looks* wonderfully clear and blue, a little white motorboat pushes its way steadily across towards Quail Island, leaving a lone wike Across the low hills at Teddington we catch a glimpse of Lake Ellesmere qnd beyond that again, the open sea. From the village below the two Maori bnvn Waitere and Tamateraki, used no doubt to ThTlttti e ] t l oofc y° un gsters, around to the little yellow beach on the left or perhaps to climb the hills and senrch the patches of bush for birds' nested J*>- dlg oufc rabbits from t^eir burrows, , or, climbing higher to gaze across at city and plains. We return to our seat in th'o «,„
appear on the memorial. Up road they came 011 their favouritlsM in the strength arid vigour young manhood. Up past that iron post beside the creek near tSffflf of the valley. Yes, that post, memorial to those two poor boygtSS long years ago, set out on their'l|H Adventure. See, there is a on the brow of the hill to the jjrei where the body of the other was found. Yes. a long time ago> «jil would have been elderly man *'JSBI The final stiff pinch, and then to 3 wc are doing, drinking in the b4jjg||l of the scene. Then the brisk " yaffil back to the' foot of the hill, hearth-iires gleamed in the dusk aaimi warm welcome of pleasant homes iwfli ed them. .'.jaßj Witch Hill Memorial, simple thnw it is, must stand out as somdpl™ unique among our war .ostentatiously it was ereuted, low||jg| and with an entire absence of licity which attends the public memorials. No better site have been chosen than this, as it does, a view of mountain and riwflß harbour and open sea. And surflriwjl ing it all is the wonderful silence 15§1 peace of the Open Spacos. Surely faSM if anywhere on earth, must dwell spirit of those departed. ' jl|
WITCH HILL., Press, Volume LX, Issue 18196, 6 October 1924
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