Bridge, Remembrance

PhotoThe Bridge of Remembrance is one of Christchurch’s great landmarks – redolent of days of war, marching troops and tribute. Christchurch City Council reported recently that work will begin on securing it.

We have in our digitised collection a pamphlet Christchurch War Memorial: Bridge of Remembrance that explores the history and symbolic features of the Bridge of Remembrance. It explains the origins of the Bridge. The booklet contains extracts from the address of J. Wyn Irwin, of the Bridge of Remembrance Committee at the opening ceremony. It was officially opened by Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, Armistice Day 11 November 1924.

The Memorial owes its origin to a letter written to the Press on July 24th, 1919, by a Christchurch lady, suggesting the appropriateness of erecting, over a site made sacred and historic by its association with the departure of the Canterbury troops, a beautiful memorial in the shape of a Stone Arch and Bridge, bearing the inscription, “Bridge of Remembrance.”

The Bridge of Remembrance with Cashel Street in the background Bridge of Remembrance

The pamphlet also details the layers of symbolism and meaning:

As a Bridge spanning the banks of the river it should remind us of
the brief span of human existence, and of the Great Beyond.

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