Heavy rain didn't deter members of the Dannevirke and Districts RSA and four high school student helpers from erecting 240 white crosses of remembrance alongside the Cenotaph yesterday.

And while everyone was saturated, there were no complaints. The volunteers realised the conditions were no comparison to the hardships New Zealand soldiers had to endure in the muddy trenches of World War 1 battlefields.

"We're lucky the ground is soft," Dannevirke RSA member John Ross said.

With military precision, the team worked to dig the holes and erect the white crosses.


A chance encounter at a local supermarket led the four Dannevirke High School students to help with the back-breaking work.

"Mr Tatere told me to bring my mates, so here we are," Ryan Holdaway said.

For the students, the realisation the 240 white crosses represented Dannevirke servicemen and women who lost their lives, was sobering and their sacrifice of working in the rain paled in comparison.