A delegation from the city of Ieper (Ypres) will be at the Armistice Day commemoration in Hamilton at the city's centenary remembrance service on November 11.

Last year, Hamilton installed an Ieper Garden at Memorial Park to thank the Belgian city for the way they continue to honour fallen New Zealand soldiers, while Ieper is currently developing a Hamilton Park in their city.

Hamilton mayor Andrew King visited Ieper this year and turned the first sod on the project, and planted New Zealand native trees.

The mayor will be joined on Sunday by Luc Dehaene, a former mayor of Ieper, and former Hamilton councillor Peter Bos — who was instrumental in establishing links between the cities, with all three to speak at the service.


"It's an opportunity to commit again to the avoidance of conflict wherever possible and to deepen our already close bonds with the Belgian city of Ieper, an area where many Waikato soldiers served," Mr King said.

A special feature at the ceremony will be the recreation of the roaring chorus of celebratory sounds that was a feature of the Armistice Day announcement in in 1918.
"The observation of two minutes' silence at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month will have particular resonance this year," Mr King said.

"We'll also aim to capture the spirit of celebration at war's end with our own roaring chorus in Hamilton."

The service will include the burying of a time capsule at Memorial Park. Among its contents will be personal items of war memorabilia from the forebears of local business people who made donations to the Ieper memorial project, along with stories about the Hamilton businesses involved.

A memorial gravestone gifted to Hamilton by Ieper and the Ieper War Graves Commission will this year, for the first time, be in place in the Ieper Garden for Armistice Day.

Three hundred named white crosses will be displayed in memory of the Hamilton people who died in the conflict.

The family outdoor concert and community picnic to follow the service will feature brass bands, choirs, songs and music from the World War I era, and old-style games such as egg and spoon and sack races.

Purple poppies representing animals who died in the conflict will be available from the War Horse Trust in the afternoon. Horses will be in attendance beside the War Horse memorial, which members of the public can interact with.

The service gets under way at 10.15am at Memorial Park on River Rd.

From 10am to 2pm at Waikato Museum the public can join members of the Waikato Embroiderers' Guild and contribute to the 45th panel of the Mt Felix Tapestry by adding a stitch or two.

In Wellington, a national ceremony will be held at 10.45am which will include a 100-Gun Salute

The salute on the Wellington waterfront in front of Te Papa will start the ceremony. The firing is symbolically timed to finish at 11am when the guns fell silent 100 years ago.