Learning about the fallen 58

Genealogists are keen to hear from anyone able to boost research around the 58 fallen World War One soldiers whose names are listed on the cenotaph at Te Awamutu’s Anzac Green.

The call comes after a Heritage Month-linked presentation made at the Te Awamutu Library earlier this month by members of the NZ Society of Genealogists Te Awamutu branch.

The five speakers who led this month’s Te Awamutu Genealogy group presentation on WW1 servicemen named on the cenotaph at Anzac Green. They are, from left, Avis Steed, Rae Selby, Christine Balls, Anne Roberts and Linda Howarth. Photo: supplied

Researcher and presenter Avis Steed said the group had previously agreed to research all the names on the WW1 cenotaph.

“This is an ongoing project, and for Heritage Month we gathered the research so far completed to do a presentation at the library.  We have completed the research on around 20 of the names so far,” she said.

Avis said much of the information featured came from the Online Cenotaph website, army records accessed through Archives New Zealand and other online links to wartime records, and from various other sources.

“There were five presenters and Sandra Metcalfe, who is also a member of the Te Awamutu Genealogy group, gave the opening and closing addresses.”

In the audience was Te Awamutu RSA member Adan Te Huia, who will be taking the Anzac Day service in Te Awamutu on April 25.

Avis said some of the stories researched so far are particularly heart-wrenching.  She presented on five of the personnel listed on the cenotaph, and said it was interesting to hear related stories from members of the audience once the meeting was opened to the floor.

Those attending described the presentation as emotional, with some recounting the tragic stories involving their loss of their loved ones during WW1.

Avis said plans are forging ahead to get the project completed for future generations.

“We want people to share with us whatever knowledge they have on those soldiers whose names appear on the cenotaph,” said Avis.  “Their details have not been catalogued locally before and we believe it is very important for us to collate as much information as we possibly can.”

Rae Selby, one of the presenters.


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