Commemorations begin to mark Armistice Day's centenary

Three hundred white crosses will be displayed at Memorial Park in memory of the Hamilton people who died in the First World War as part of the Armistice Day centenary commemorations.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/STUFFThree hundred white crosses will be displayed at Memorial Park in memory of the Hamilton people who died in the First World War as part of the Armistice Day centenary commemorations.

November 11 marks the centenary for the end of World War I. In Hamilton, there will be a service starting at 10.15am at at Memorial Park on River Rd featuring the recreation of a  “roaring chorus” of “pipings, blastings, tootings and rattlings” which featured in Armistice Day celebrations in 1918.

Hamilton City Council mayor Andrew King said it would give the two minutes silence being observed at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month particular resonance.

“One hundred years on, we still remember them, those who served and particularly those who didn’t return from the Great War.

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“Our centenary memorial event, and subsequent community concert and picnic, will be a time to remember the sacrifices made by Kiwis and others during that terrible conflict, to celebrate the peace that followed and to look to the future.”

It was also an opportunity to deepen Waikato’s ties with the Belgian city of Ieper (Ypres), an area where many Waikato soldiers served, he said.

Hamilton has installed a Ieper garden at Memorial Park, while Ieper is currently developing a Hamilton Park in their city. 

King, former Ieper mayor Luc Dehaene and former Hamilton councillor Peter Bos will speak at the service.

It will also include the burying of a time capsule. Among its contents will be memorabilia from the forebears of local business people along with stories about the Hamilton businesses involved.

A memorial gravestone will for the first time this year be in place in the leper garden for Armistice Day. Three hundred named white crosses will be displayed in memory of the Hamilton people who died in the conflict.

After the service there will be a community picnic,   with  brass bands, choirs, songs and music performed from World War  I era, and old-style games such as egg and spoon, and sack races.

Purple poppies representing animals who died in the conflict will be available from the War Horse Trust.

Cambridge will commemorate the occasion with a parade on Victoria Street starting at 9.55am, followed by a service on the plaza outside the Town Hall and laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph.

Community group Armistice in Cambridge are holding their annual two day commemorations at the Mighty River domain near Lake Karapiro.

Gates open for the event at 9am on November 11 and continue into the following day and features battle re-enactments, children’s activities and military displays.

Two Waikato locations will participate in global Battle’s O’er tributes. At 6am, New Zealand leads the worldwide timing of this event where a piper or two play the tune When The Battle Is Over, now played when a war finishes. This will take place at Rukuhia School and at St Andrew’s Anglican Church.

There will also be a service at Te Kauwhata at the Soldiers Memorial on the Village Green starting at 10.30am.

 

Stuff