Memorial street signs unveiled

13 November 2014

Ever wondered why there’s a Verviers Street in Karori, or what the story is behind Frandi Street in Thorndon? A new series of memorial street signs reveal the origins of these and other street names with links to World War I.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Paul Glennie and Councillor Andy Foster with memorial street signs in Civic Square

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Paul Glennie and Councillor Andy Foster stand below the new memorial street sign

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The first of these were unveiled to mark this year’s Armistice Day on 11 November. Further signs will be installed on the centenary of the relevant event or soldier’s death. The memorial signs “inform and add a new layer of meaning to these street names,” says Councillor Andy Foster. Councillor Foster initiated the project and did the early research himself. He later enlisted the help of another history buff – Paul Glennie, Team Leader of Strategic Planning for City Networks.

Local heroes will be remembered with a sign stating their title, position and where they fought. Signs on streets named after battles will identify the occupying forces and, in some cases, when the area was liberated. “At the appropriate time we would love to have communities and hopefully relatives of these soldiers come together to mark the street signs’ installation,” says Councillor Foster.

“There is a story behind each of the names that we will be all the richer for knowing. It is worth remembering that of a population of just over one million, 120,000 enlisted, 103,000 served overseas, 40,000 were wounded and more than 18,000 died – 2700 at Gallipoli and 12,500 on the Western Front. It is an extraordinary level of commitment and sacrifice that changed our country. These signs are a small recognition of that.”

More signs will be permanently installed throughout Wellington during the commemoration period for World War I. They will be on display in Civic Square until June 2015. Visit our memorial street signs story map to find out more.