Anzac Day in Christchurch 2017

Tuesday 25 April 2016 is Anzac Day. All our libraries will be closed on this public holiday. Read our page on Anzac Day and Gallipoli to find out more about this commemoration.

Wreaths in Cranmer Square
Wreaths in Cranmer Square, Anzac Day, Monday 25 April 2016 File Reference: 2016-04-25-IMG_3816

Commemorative services often begin before dawn with a march by returned and service personnel to the local war memorial, where they are joined by other members of the community for the Dawn Service.

Christchurch services and events

The following information is from Christchurch City Council:

Dawn service at Cranmer Square

  • 6am to 6.15am: Gather in Cranmer Square
  • 6.15am: Parade begins
  • 6.30am: Service begins centred around the Memorial Cenotaph
  • 7.15am: Service concludes with Mayor Lianne Dalziel laying a wreath on behalf of the citizens of Christchurch.

Organised by the Canterbury Branch of the Malayan Veterans Association in conjunction with the Christchurch Branch of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA), and the Christchurch City Council.

There will be a volley of shots fired and a fly-over by the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The New Zealand Army Band will be in attendance and a bugler will play The Last Post.

The service runs for about 30–45mins and will be projected on two large screens.

Citizens’ Service: 10am – ChristChurch Transitional Cathedral, Latimer Square 

The Citizens’ Service is organised by Christchurch City Council in conjunction with Christchurch Cathedral and the RSA. An address will be given by Air Commodore Andrew Woods, RNZAF and representatives of the NZ Defence Force, Consular Corps and various Christchurch youth groups will be attending.

Find more Anzac Day services

The RSA website features a Find an Anzac Day service resource. The Christchurch City Council also has a list of Anzac Day services.

More Anzac related events

Fields of Remembrance

In 2015, the Canterbury Province Field in Cranmer Square contained 632 crosses commemorating the men and women of Christchurch who died in 1915. A further 825 crosses were added in 2016 and the field will gain more crosses again this year.

Field of Remembrance
Field of Remembrance, Cranmer Square [2015] Flickr 2015-03-27-IMG_6781

Exhibitions, displays and events

  • Heathcote WWI Soldiers Remembered – 31 March to 30 April at Linwood Library at Eastgate Mall. The soldiers from Heathcote Valley who died in WWI are individually remembered in an exhibition at Linwood Library.
  • Remembering the Anzacs papercraft – 10.30-11.30am Friday 21 April at Spreydon Library. Poppy-making and memories.
  • ANZAC Commemoration Linwood Cemetery (Sunday 23 April)
  • Eastside Gallery: Anzac Exhibition 2017 Opening Wednesday 19 April – Friday 28 April. A multi-media participatory experience on the theme, “We honour, we remember, we reflect”. Photographs, artworks, installations, memorabilia, talks, readings, poetry and prose, printed and audiovisual material. With a poetry evening on Friday 28 April.
  • Anzac Day Peace Vigil 6-7pm, 25 April at the Bridge of Remembrance
Bridge of Remembrance rededication
Bridge of Remembrance rededication, Anzac Day, Monday 25 April 2016. File Reference: 2016-04-25-IMG_3756

Find out more:

 

The magic word ‘Anzac’

On 25 April we will stop to remember those who served in the conflicts New Zealand has participated in, from the world wars to Iraq and Afghanistan, via Korea, Vietnam and others, and not forgetting New Zealand’s 19th century wars and the Boer War.

“Indian Troops at Gas Mask Drill.,” by Unknown. The Imperial War Museum via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed April 13, 2017, http://ww1lit.nsms.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/collections/item/3616.
“Indian Troops at Gas Mask Drill.,” by Unknown. The Imperial War Museum via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed April 13, 2017, http://ww1lit.nsms.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/collections/item/3616.

There is much to remember, and this year the focus will be on the 100th anniversaries of the Battle of Messines in June and Passchendaele in October, in particular 12 October which saw more than 800 New Zealanders killed in a single day.

As the First World War disappears from living memory, we are fortunate to have access to historic newspapers either on microfilm at Central Library Manchester or at Papers Past. They can show us how Anzac Day has been commemorated and represented over the past century. An editorial from The Press on 25 April 1917 explains that the “magic word ‘Anzac’… tells us how Australians and New Zealanders fought and died shoulder to shoulder in the cause of freedom” and that “time has not yet mellowed the memory of that day.”

CoverThe editorial also makes a passing reference to some of the Indian troops who served during the Gallipoli campaign. Around 16,000 individuals from the Indian Army served during the campaign and their neglected story is well told in Die in battle, do not despair: the Indians on Gallipoli, 1915 by Peter Stanley.

Ever growing access to different sources and new publications means that we can uncover and share more stories than ever about the First World War and other conflicts New Zealand has been involved in.

Lord Jellicoe inspects the First Canterbury Guard of Honour, ANZAC Day, foundation stone ceremony, Bridge of Remembrance [25 Apr. 1923] CCL PhotoCD 15, IMG0023
Lord Jellicoe inspects the First Canterbury Guard of Honour, ANZAC Day, foundation stone ceremony, Bridge of Remembrance [25 Apr. 1923] CCL PhotoCD 15, IMG0023

Anzac resources

This article was published in issue 3 of our quarterly magazine, uncover – huraina. Read it online.

The Bridge of Remembrance to reopen

Cashel Street Bridge Of Remembrance From East
Cashel Street Bridge Of Remembrance From East, Kete Christchurch

It’s been a bit of a wait, but – fingers crossed ! – soon we will be able to stand on the Bridge of Remembrance again.  Of course, the surrounds don’t quite look like the photo above anymore. The repairs, painstakingly carried out by SCIRT, to the Bridge and Arch were completed in September 2015, but access wasn’t restored as landscaping work as part of the Te Papa Ōtākāro/ Avon River Precinct project has been carried out on the Bridge and the Park of Remembrance.

Coat of arms relief, Bridge of remembrance
Bridge of Remembrance – 8 April 2007 #DSCN2235 (Cecil) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

“Changes include removing the walls at the western end of the Bridge and the construction of a grand staircase, a new ramp creating a processional connection to the Nicholas Statue, and paving which links with the river promenade and in-ground lighting to highlight the Triumphal Arch,” Ms Wagner, the Associate Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister, the Associate Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister said late last year.

The repair work to the Bridge included replacing the original 4 metre piles with 27 metre ones, and reinforcing the historic arch with an 8.2 tonne beam. The work means that the arch, built from rock quarried in Tasmania, will rock rather than twist in any future earthquakes.

It is expected to be open again by ANZAC Day, 25 April 2016.

Learn more

 

Some portraits of First World War service

Thumbnail Image of James Alexander AdamsThumbnail Image of Michael Ian AdamsonThumbnail Image of John Michael Winter EvansThumbnail Image of James Horne AitkenThumbnail Image of David AndersonThumbnail Image of Arthur Charles Warner BainThumbnail Image of Maxwell Stewart BainThumbnail Image of George Frederick BryantThumbnail Image of Frank Linton ButtleThumbnail Image of Edwin Grandison CochraneThumbnail Image of Sarsfield CollinsThumbnail Image of Thomas Francis DeveningThumbnail Image of Maurice DugganThumbnail Image of John ErwinThumbnail Image of William Arthur FairbairnThumbnail Image of George Weir FergusonThumbnail Image of Alfred Ernest FraserThumbnail Image of Ralph Jocelyn Gale

Monday 25 April is Anzac Day. We have added to our collection a series of photos of local men and women who served in the First World War. Each portrait links to a short biography. We will remember them.

See our biographies of local soldiers on Kete Christchurch.

Anzac Day in Christchurch and Canterbury 2016

Monday 25 April 2016 is Anzac Day. All our libraries will be closed on this public holiday. Read our page on Anzac Day and Gallipoli to find out more about this commemoration.

Commemorative services often begin before dawn with a march by returned and service personnel to the local war memorial, where they are joined by other members of the community for the Dawn Service.

Assembling for the Anzac Day Parade, 301 Halswell Road. Photo by Ellenor Waters. CCL-HP2015-EW-DSCF2940 Photo from The Halswell Project.
Assembling for the Anzac Day Parade, 301 Halswell Road. Photo by Ellenor Waters. CCL-HP2015-EW-DSCF2940 Photo from The Halswell Project.

Christchurch services and events

The following information is from Christchurch City Council:

Dawn service at Cranmer Square

  • 6am–6.15am: the people gather
  • 6.15am: the parade begins from the RSA building on Armagh Street
  • 6.30am: the service begins centred around the memorial cenotaph
  • 7.15am: the service concludes with wreath-laying

Organised by the Canterbury Branch of the Malayan Veterans Association in conjunction with the Christchurch Branch of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA) and Christchurch City Council. Mayor Lianne Dalziel will lay a wreath on behalf of the citizens of Christchurch.

Citizens’ Service: 10am – ChristChurch Transitional Cathedral, Latimer Square

Organised by Christchurch City Council in conjunction with ChristChurch Cathedral and the RSA. It will be attended by representatives of the Defence Force, Consular Corps and local youth groups.

Find more Anzac Day services

The RSA website features a Find an Anzac Day service resource.

More Anzac related events

Fields of Remembrance

In 2015, the Canterbury Province Field in Cranmer Square contained 632 crosses commemorating the men and women of Christchurch who died in 1915. That number will be added to in 2016.

Field of Remembrance
Field of Remembrance, Cranmer Square [2015] Flickr 2015-03-27-IMG_6781

Exhibitions and displays

  • Canterbury Mounted Rifles regiment display – 18 to 30 April at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre. Joe Dixon talk on the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, Tuesday 19 April, 2pm.
  • ANZAC: Photographs by Laurence Aberhart at the Canterbury Museum
  • Anzac display Brighton Gallery
  • ANZAC Commemoration Linwood Cemetery (Sunday 24 April)
  • Linwood Community Arts Centre (corner Worcester and Stanmore Road). Anzac Exhibition 2016 Monday 11 April – up to and including Anzac Day. A multi-media participatory experience on the theme, “We honour, we remember, we reflect”. Photographs, artworks, installations, talks, readings, poetry and prose, printed and audiovisual material.

Troops watering horses in the Avon River near Carlton Bridge, Christchurch [23 Sept. 1914]. CCL PhotoCD 7, IMG0069
Troops watering horses in the Avon River near Carlton Bridge, Christchurch [23 Sept. 1914]. CCL PhotoCD 7, IMG0069
Find out more:

ANZAC Day, 1952

Anzac Day, 1952. Norman Pierson : Korean War photographs

Anzac Day, Korea, 1952. Norman Pierson : Korean War Photographs

Remembering them

Taking a ride on the tram is becoming a bit of a school holiday habit for the Young Lad and me.  On our trip round the loop the other day, we passed the Field of Remembrance at Cranmer Square.

Field of Remembrance. Flickr, 2015-03-27-IMG_6779

Field of Remembrance. Flickr, 2015-03-27-IMG_6779

I have to admit that Anzac Day has never really meant much to me, except as a day off school when I was a kid.  This year, though, it seems so much more significant. You see, I’ve spent the last couple of months researching a soldier for the New Brighton Boys project, and suddenly the war became real to me.  Seeing all those white crosses — I got a little choked up trying to explain to the Young Lad what it was all about.  Each of those crosses was suddenly a person to me, not just a statistic, or a page in a history book, but a real person with a life, a family; a person with dreams for a future that ought to have been but never would.

J. F. HaynesI can’t think of John Frederick Haynes as anything but my soldier.  My blue eyed, brown haired boy, who shares my Dad’s birthday, and lived round the corner from where I grew up — and died when he was just 23. I’d never heard of him before last November, and started out with just a name and a service number, but the more I found out about him, the more I wanted to know. The bald facts that I found in military records, electoral rolls, church registers, and Births, Deaths, and Marriages records coalesced, blossomed, and became tangible to me.

I could almost have been there in the room when his little brother Lawrence, who was just 19, came home and told his family that the attesting officer had let him enlist this time. I felt his mother’s sadness that she’d lost her middle boy to the war and now her baby had enlisted too. Was it she who convinced Francis, the eldest, that he needed to enlist to keep an eye on Lawrence? Did Francis’ wife, Reubena, try to persuade him not to go? Either way, Francis enlisted the very next day.

Lawrence and Francis came home. John did not.

This Anzac Day I will remember them.

Anzac Day in Christchurch and Canterbury 2015

Saturday 25 April 2015 is Anzac Day.

Commemorative services often begin before dawn with a march by returned and service personnel to the local war memorial, where they are joined by other members of the community for the Dawn Service.

25 April 2015 also marks a hundred years since Gallipoli. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops first landed on the beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula, in Turkey on 25 April 1915.
New Christchurch RSA Building, Armagh Street

Library hours

Check our library hours over Anzac weekend. All libraries are closed on Saturday 25 April, but open as normal on Sunday 26 April. On Monday 27 April, Linwood, Papanui and South Libraries and our telephone service 941 7923 will be open from 10am to 4pm. All other libraries will remain closed.

Christchurch services and events

The following information is from the Christchurch City Council community events page.

Dawn service

The dawn service will be held in Cranmer Square.

  • 6am–6.15am: the people gather
  • 6.15am: the parade begins
  • 6.30am: the service begins centred around the memorial cenotaph
  • 7.15am: the service concludes with wreath-laying

Organised by the Canterbury Branch of the Malayan Veterans Association in conjunction with the Christchurch Branch of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA) and Christchurch City Council.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel will lay a wreath on behalf of the citizens of Christchurch.

Citizens’ Service: 10am – ChristChurch Transitional Cathedral, Latimer Square

Organised by Christchurch City Council in conjunction with ChristChurch Cathedral and the RSA. It will be attended by representatives of the Defence Force, Consular Corps and various Christchurch youth groups.

Find more Anzac Day services

Other Anzac events

Fields of Remembrance

The Canterbury Province Field in Cranmer Square will contain 632 crosses commemorating the men and women of Christchurch who died in 1915. The Fields of Remembrance Trust has researched the names of men and women from each region who died on active service in 1915 and subsequent years. Download the list of names for Canterbury 1915 [103KB PDF]

Concerts

MainPower Season of ANZAC Rangiora Town Hall

Gallipoli 100 – ANZAC Remembered 2015 Woolston Brass’ special ANZAC concert marks the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign. Featuring The Christchurch City Choir, the concert will be held at the Charles Luney Auditorium (St. Margaret’s College) Saturday 25 April 2pm.

See our photos of the new Christchurch RSA building on Armagh Street, officially opened on 27 March 2015.

Find out more:

Anzac weekend eBooks

We’ve got a lovely selection of New Zealand eBooks for Anzac weekend reading:

9780730443315 9780730445630 9781741159684 9781775590064
9780473215224 9780473219901 9780473221751 9780987666574
9781869406455 9781877437113 9781877568534  9781927147344

Anzac Day 2014

Friday 25 April 2014 is Anzac Day. Christchurch is currently celebrating Anzac Day with a Dawn Service in Cranmer Square (where a temporary cenotaph is erected) and a Citizens Service at the ChristChurch Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square. The details for each service are available on the Christchurch City Council website. For the locations and times of other commemorations around Christchurch details can be found on the RSA website.

Each year many wreaths and bouquets from the Dawn Service end up at the statue of Sgt Henry James Nicholas V.C. M.M., northwest of the Bridge of Remembrance on Cambridge Terrace.

Wreaths by statue of Sergeant Henry Nicholas

Sergeant Henry NicholasHenry Nicholas was the first soldier from the Canterbury Regiment to be awarded the Victoria Cross. He died in action on 23 October 1918 aged 26. He was awarded the Military Medal posthumously for his bravery during the fight for the bridgeheads at the River Ecaillon near the village of Beaudignies on 23 October 1918, 12 days before the New Zealanders’ capture of the town of Le Quesnoy.

All of our libraries are closed on Anzac Day.