Armistice Day marks the anniversary of the agreement that ended the First World War (1914 – 1918) and commemorates the sacrifice of those who died serving New Zealand in this and all wars and armed conflicts. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks the moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front in 1918, with the signing of the Armistice.
The Bridge of Remembrance is one of Christchurch’s great landmarks – redolent of days of war, marching troops, and fallen soldiers. It was officially opened by Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, Armistice Day 11 November 1924.
The Bridge means more than war. It has fulfilled its name, and is a place of remembering. Christchurch’s Earthquake Memorial will be situated near here.
The booklet contains extracts from the address of J. Wyn Irwin, of the Bridge of Remembrance Committee at the opening ceremony.
The Memorial originated from a letter written to the Press on July 24th, 1919, by a Christchurch lady. She suggested it might be appropriate to erect a beautiful memorial in the shape of a Stone Arch and Bridge, bearing the inscription, “Bridge of Remembrance.” She recommended placing it over a site made sacred and historic by its association with the departure of the Canterbury troops.
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.