RSA seeks all inclusive lists

By Anton Crump

The Whangarei RSA faces a new battle ahead of 2014 commemorations marking 100 years since the start of World War I.

The RSA will move the cenotaph in Rose St to Laurie Hill Park in 2015, but president Archie Dixon is dealing with an issue over the number killed while serving. The Rose St memorial has more than 200 names, and there is a list at the Maungatapere First World War Memorial Church. However, 15 names at the Maungatapere Church aren't on the Rose St memorial.

Mr Dixon says the names should match to ensure Whangarei's war dead are honoured appropriately.

"We want to make sure we honour all the men who came from Whangarei. We want to remember them and ensure their names appear on the new cenotaph."

Mr Dixon is going through the national database cross-checking the 15 names from the Maungatapere Church to make sure the men were from Whangarei.

"It's important to their families these men are recognised in the region from where they came.

I've been contacted by families who have a relative's name on a cenotaph in Auckland, when in fact the soldier came from Whangarei."

Mr Dixon is appealing to the Whangarei community to help with the unidentified list of war dead, as there are known to be well over 400 killed from the Northland district.

The Whangarei District Council has approved $500,000 for the Laurie Park cenotaph and Mr Dixon hopes a large number of missing names will be added for the unveiling sometime in April 2015.

The new war memorial will also contain the names of those killed in World War II, Korea, Borneo, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

- Northern Advocate

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