Fields of Remembrance – the Last Post

16 April 2018

The Fields of Remembrance white crosses installation is now in place on the Salamanca Lawn site in the Botanic Garden, representing all the fallen Wellingtonians during the World War One campaign.

Field of white crosses with poppies on them.

In its final year, the field consists of 5,270 named crosses for every person from the region who died in World War One from 1915-1918 – as well as those who died subsequently from wounds or illnesses contracted while in active service.

The White Crosses project is a nationwide initiative by the Fields of Remembrance Trust, which has organised four regional Fields of Remembrance for reflection – also located in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin – around Anzac Day every year since 2015.

Councillor Andy Foster says this project has been a really significant event through all the WW100 commemorations.

“We’ve been commemorating the centenary of the First World War for the past four years, acknowledging key events like Gallipoli and Passchendaele, as well as the massive contribution New Zealand made to the campaigns.

“The visual impact of the white crosses installation really demonstrates the massive, and personal, impact the War had on the young Wellington community. Every cross is named, one for each of those who served and died in the Wellington regiments – covering the area up to Hawkes Bay and Taranaki.

“Every one of them had their own stories. There will be many of us who will find members of our families, names familiar to us, and it’s fitting that 100 years later we remember them all.”

Nationwide, 103,000 New Zealanders served overseas from a population of 1.1 million, 59,500 casualties with 18,200 dead, and 41,300 wounded.

A blessing, speeches and launch ceremony performed by a military chaplain and officials will be held at the Salamanca Lawn site at 2pm on Wednesday 18 April.

In its final year, we’re encouraging the public to come and collect the crosses of their friends or relatives on Sunday 6 May between 10am-4pm – when staff will be on hand to help find them.

Alternatively get in touch with our Contact Centre by emailing info@wcc.govt.nz or phone 04 499 4444 with details of the relative/friend before Sunday 6 May so the team can put it aside for collection.