National Cross of Remembrance

Posted on May 3rd, 2013

Photograph by Kate Whitley, Te Papa

The Fields of Remembrance Trust launched the White Crosses project in Wellington in April 2013.

During World War One, from a population of barely one million, more than 110,000 New Zealanders served overseas. From 1914 to 1918 some 55,000 were wounded and over 18,000 died on active service. The names of places where they fought became etched on the national psyche – Gallipoli, Egypt, The Somme, Passchendalele, Palestine, Le Quensnoy and many others. As we approach the centenary of these momentous events that shaped out Nation, Te Papa and the Fields of Remembrance Trust dedicated this National Cross of Remembrance to commemorate all New Zealanders who served during World War One and to acknowledge the consequences for them and their families and the impact of their sacrifice on later generations.

This National Cross of Remembrance was handed into the safe keeping of Te Papa as the kaitiaki (the guardian) of the Cross on behalf of the nation. The Dedication Ceremony was held at Te Papa Museum, Wellington on 18 April 2013.

Since 2009, a custom has arisen in various communities around New Zealand where personalised Crosses of Remembrance have been installed to pay tribute to those who served in the Great War. These individual crosses are based on the white crosses engraved on World War I headstones found in cemeteries throughtout New Zealand. This ANZAC Day notable ceremonies where also held in Whangarei, Christchurch and New Plymouth.


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